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Statesboro boys, girls win first round games

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Statesboro boys, girls win first round games

Statesboro High's Eric Ferguson finishes a breakaway with authority against Lee County Saturday night.

Blue Devils 72, Lee County 49 

            Rashad Lee played like a man possessed, Eric Ferguson dumped in his usual 30 points and Statesboro beat Lee County 72-49 Saturday in the first round of the GHSA Class AAAA tournament.

            Lee had 18 points and eight rebounds. His eight second quarter points fueled Statesboro's 20-point outburst in the frame. The Blue Devils (16-11) led by 16 at halftime.

            "Rashad just did what he had to do," said Statesboro coach Lee Hill. "He scored, he took it to the basket — he did the things that he needed to do. I'll tell you what, he's getting better and better each game."

            Holding a 17-12 lead after one, SHS came out in the second with a half-court trap, causing all sorts of problems for LCHS (5-19).

            Statesboro forced 11 first half turnovers and Ferguson scored 10 of his 30 points in the second.  The quick buckets in transition and Lee's high-percentage shots in the paint helped the Devils shoot 56 percent in the first half.

            The only thing left for SHS was to close out the Trojans in the second half.

            "They went in at halftime and were kind of talking in the halls," said Hill. "I told my kids, 'This team doesn't have anything to lose. Just keep your composure, play smart and don't get into that with them'. I'm just proud of my kids not letting (that stuff) bother them and playing under these type of circumstances."

            Lee County came out with a much more intense defense in the second half, causing six Statesboro turnovers in the third quarter. LCHS got it down to 12 at one point in the fourth, but never any closer.

            No other Devil reached double figures, but seven other Devils outside Ferguson and Lee scored. Point guard Mario Jackson was hampered by foul trouble and finished with five points.

            Jarred Edwards had 20 points for LCHS on 8-of-28 shooting. Ken Bell added 10.

            Statesboro will face Jonesboro on Tuesday at a time yet-to-be-deterimined.

            "This team is peaking," said Hill. "Not only (Lee) — Lamar Lundy came in and played a solid game when (Jackson) got in foul trouble. Edwin Harvey came in and did a good job. I think the thing is they play team ball and they keep their head in the game."


Lady Blue Devils 50, Lady Trojans 32

            Statesboro made its first seven shots of the first half and pulled away late from Lee County to advance 50-32 in the first round of the GHSA Class AAAA State Tournament Saturday.

            The Lady Devils (24-3) led just 20-18 at halftime but came out on fire in the third.

            Kittrella Mikell hit two big 3s and Victoria Mikell and Monnette Bennett added buckets of their own to give Statesboro a 36-20 lead after just four minutes of the second half. Lee County never recovered.

            The Lady Devils led by as many as 20 in the second half.

            "We kind of found that they had trouble with the half-court trap," said SHS coach Jeff Seier. "So we came out right away (in the second half), got some more turnovers — we made the hustle plays that we didn't make in the first half that (Lee County) was making."

            The Lady Trojans (8-18) played a gritty first half and led by as many as four in the second quarter. The tandem of Lindsey Cranford and Breanna Neal inside helped LCHS to outrebound Statesboro 22-9 in the first half. A Victoria Mikell 3 with 1:30 to go until halftime gave SHS a lead it never relinquished. She finished with 11 points on the night.

            Bennett had 19 to lead all scorers. Crawford was the only Trojan in double digits for LC with 13.

            Statesboro will play the winner of Baldwin-Woodward Academy on Wednesday at a time-yet-to-be-determined.

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