The Statesboro Blue Devils (10-3) weren’t very gentlemanly to their guests from Savannah Wednesday night. The Blue Devils applied plenty of defensive pressure throughout the game, and routed the Islands Sharks 90-52 in the opening round of their Gentlemen’s Classic.
“I thought we shot the ball really well tonight,” said Statesboro coach Lee Hill. “our defense was solid throughout the night, but our shooting was as good as it’s been all year. We took good shots, and hit when we were open.”
The Sharks had more turnovers than points (9-7) in the first quarter, as Statesboro raced out to a 6-0 lead, and took an 18-7 lead and the end of the first. Devin Mikell was a force inside as he scored 10 of his 26 points in the opening quarter of play.
The Blue Devils continued to pile it on in the second quarter. A three pointer by Joe Burns gave Statesboro a 33-13 lead, and they would go on to lead 35-21 at the half.
In the third quarter Islands actually made a run to get the lead to single digits, but Statesboro then went on an 18-2 run to put things away. Jacobi Edenfield hit back to back three pointers, and Statesboro led 58-33 after three quarters of play.
Things actually got worse for Islands in the fourth quarter, as the Sharks ran out of gas, and the Blue Devils depth took over. Statesboro started the fourth on a 14-2 run. Zarion Griffin scored 10 of his game high 32 points in the fourth quarter, which was highlighted by a pair of dunks by Mikell.
A windmill dunk by Flip Dixon in the final minute brought the bench, and the crowd to their feet, and was the exclamation mark on an impressive Blue Devil victory.
“We lost a couple close games in Albany, and we haven’t been able to get many of our younger players in the game,” Hill said. “Playing three games in three days, right after playing three games in three days, it was important to give our starters some rest.”
Griffin led the way for Statesboro with 32 points, while Mikell added 26. Derek Edwards led the Sharks with 24 points.
Other games played Wednseday saw Swainsboro knock off Glenn Hills 63-51, and Richmond Academy beat Dunnellon (FL) 58-53.
Thursday’s schedule starts off with Islands and Glenn Hills squaring off at 5:00, followed by Swainsboro and Richmond Academy at 6:30. Statesboro will wrap things up at 8:00 against Dunnellon. The tournament concludes on Friday.