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Devils dominate Chiefs
Statesboro High's Destiny Hartwell, center, splits McIntosh defenders Olivia Henders, left, and Kennedi Miller for a score during the second quarter Friday.

The Statesboro Lady Blue Devils were eliminated in the first round of the state last year, so despite being the No. 1 seed, and being ranked in the top 10 of the state Statesboro coach Jeff Seier still let out a breath of relief after the Lady Devils pulled off a 51-39 victory over McIntosh, advancing to the second round of the 

State AAAAA playoffs.

“It wasn’t one of our better games,” said Statesboro coach Jeff Seier. “We were the better team out there, but there were definitely a lot of things we need to fix at practice.”

Statesboro once again rode the back of junior region player of the year Lacy Robins Friday night. Robins stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 7 steals and 6 blocked shots.

“Lacy’s back has to be hurting again from carrying us,” Seier said. “She played well and helped get some players the ball in great places to score. We really have to get other kids involved if we want to continue to advance.”

The Blue Devils started the game hot opening up a 7-1 lead. A Robins three pointer extended the Blue Devil lead to 12-4 with four minutes to go in the first quarter. The Blue Devils cooled a bit from there, but late in the quarter Robins hit Baylee Roberts and Madison Lee on consecutive passes in the paint as Statesboro took a 16-6 lead.

McIntosh fought their way back to within striking distance in the second quarter. Back to back buckets by 4 - cut the Statesboro lead to six, but Robins answered with another three pointer, and the Blue Devils led 25-16 at the half.

The Blue Devils came out hot to start the third quarter, as Robins came up with a couple of steals which she turned into layups, and Statesboro extended their lead to 33-16.

From there the Lady Chiefs made a charge, as they went on a 15-5 run that extended early in the fourth quarter as they cut the lead to 38-31.

“We had some mental breakdowns there late in the third,” Seier said. “We were able to do enough to win, but again there is plenty we need to work on.”

The Lady Blue Devils were able to regain their composure though and closed the game outscoring McIntosh 13-8. The final score could have been a lot more lopsided if the Blue Devils had connected from the free throw line where they were a dismal 1-13.

“I know one thing, we will be shooting a lot of free throws this week at practice,” Seier said. “I can’t think of a better way to spend winter break than preparing for the second round of the playoffs at home.”

Robins led Statesboro with 20 points while Baylee Robins chipped in with 11. Rylee Calhoun led McIntosh with 12 points.

Up next Statesboro will host the winner of Saturday night’s game between Veterans and Locust Grove. The game will take place Wednesday night at a yet to be determined time.

The Statesboro boys open the state playoffs Saturday night at home as they host Starrs Mill at 6 p.m.