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Blue Devils sweep through South Effingham
SHS Basketball
Statesboro High’s Reya Johnson, left, tries to squeeze by South Effingham’s Shi'asia House during the fourth quarter on Tuesday, Jan 25. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT/staff

The Statesboro Blue Devils had no problem Tuesday night with the visiting South Effingham Mustangs as they completed a region sweep ,winning the girls game 66-46 and the boys following with a 77-36 romp. 


The Lady Blue Devils opened up a 28-23 halftime lead and went on a 19-9 run to pull away in the third quarter. Alyssa Staten led the Blue Devils with 17 points while Reya Johnson added 16 points, all in the second half. The win improves the Lady Blue Devils record to 16-3 overall and 7-2 in region play.  


“I relay liked the way we played out there tonight,” said Statesboro coach Marty Holder. “Our defense was pretty solid and that started our offense. We continue to get players back and with that I can have more players to rotate in and I feel like our depth is really helping us lately.” 


Tuesday was also senior night as Statesboro recognized the members of this year’s senior class which included Madison Lee, Terrika Gibson, Malaya Dekle, Autumn Grace and Akirah Mccrae.   


“These seniors are the ones who helped pave the way for what we are doing now in this program,” said Holder. “I was happy that they all got a chance to play and have an enjoyable senior night. I thought we played good team basketball defensively tonight and that is something we really needed.” 


The Statesboro boys led 39-23 at the half and then pulled away in the third quarter outscoring the Mustangs 21-3. The Blue Devils were hot from behind the arc as they had 10 three pointers in the game. 


“We did a good job of working things inside out,” said Statesboro coach Horace Harvey. “We got good looks from outside and we took good shots. When they came out to guard us, we did a good job of punching it inside and taking advantage of our size.” 


The Blue Devils had dropped a pair of games last week losing to Effingham Tuesday and then at Bradwell on Friday night and Harvey felt the team needed the confidence they have started to play with in their last two games. 


"It all starts with our defense and I feel that is where we have really picked things up the last two games,” said Harvey. “Our rotations have gotten a lot better and we have more players right now playing a little more consistently. I think with it being senior night that helped as well as the guys seemed a lot more focused especially the seniors.” 


The Statesboro seniors led the scoring Tuesday with Albert Mikell leading the Blue Devils with 21 points on seven three pointers. Leslie Black added 12 points and 11 rebounds while Tim Taylor and Willie Ballard each chipped in with 10 points. Statesboro improves to 17-3 overall and 7-2 in region play. Up next the Blue Devils travel to Richmond Hill Friday for a 6:00 start in the girl’s contest.