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Boro bounced by Baldwin

Lady Devils upset in Sweet 16

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Boro bounced by Baldwin

Statesboro girls basketball fan Deborah Kittrell-Mikell, left, comforts star player Monnette Bennett on the bench as the final seconds tick off the clock in Wednesday's tournament loss to Baldwin County.

    Just like that, Statesboro’s season has ended.
    Baldwin used a tough defense and a balanced scoring attack to beat SHS 48-39 Wednesday in the Sweet 16 of the GHSA Class AAAA state tournament.
    The Bravettes (22-6) used a 13-4 run to end the third quarter after falling behind 25-18. They then led by as many as eight in the fourth, playing keep away for much of the final period as the Lady Devils (25-4) went one-and-done an almost every offensive possession.
    “We just didn’t shoot the ball well enough and that was really because we didn’t execute on offense,” said Statesboro coach Jeff Seier. “We were just in a big hurry to shoot the ball every time down the court — I don’t know why. We just didn’t let the game come to us.”
    Statesboro got within four with 1:14 left on a Monnette Bennett turnaround jumper, but Baldwin made 7-of-8 free throws to close out the game and hold on for the upset.
    Bennett had 16 points to lead the Devils, but was shutout in the first quarter and only had eight heading into the fourth. The senior Georgia Tech commit fouled out with 32 seconds left.
    Statesboro was just 3-for-16 from beyond the arc and shot only four free throws — missing all of them.
    Teshia Grant led the Bravettes’ attack with 17 including 10 in the fourth. Jalissa Dawson and Jasmine Boone had eight each and Dawson had 15 rebounds.
    Statesboro trailed 10-7 after one but was fortunate to be within three. Baldwin made just four of its 20 first quarter shots and finished the half at 21 percent.
    The Devils ended the half on a 7-1 run then scored eight straight to start the third and go up by eight. Baldwin then began to full-court press, causing five of Statesboro’s 16 turnovers in the third.
    Statesboro shot 36 percent from the floor while Baldwin ended the night at 31.2 percent. The Bravettes were 10-of-19 from the line.
    “We probably should have been a little more aggressive coming to the glass,” said Seier. “They just outplayed us.”
    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.
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