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Devils rebound, dispatch Mustangs

    After a tough week, it looks like the Statesboro boys are back in business.
    The Blue Devils lost consecutive Region 2-AAAA games to Effingham County and Greenbrier, but slipped past Lakeside Evans last Friday and took care of business with a 58-34 win over South Effingham Tuesday night at the Devil’s Den.
    Nine different Blue Devils registered points as Statesboro swept the season series from the Mustangs.
    Statesboro took control midway through the first quarter.
    Wesley Mullins (9 points) and Martin Porterfield (7 points) drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Mustangs a 6-2 lead, but the Devils battled back and junior guard Michael Summers converted two steals into layups to give SHS an 8-7 lead.
    Summers continued to lead the Blue Devil charge as he scored eight points in a 1:45 span during the 13-1 run that put them ahead to stay.
     “That was one of his best efforts this season,” said Hill of Summers. “He’s getting more comfortable in our offense and it’s starting to show.”
    Thanks to a swarming Devil defensive effort, South Effingham managed only a Brandon Archer free throw throughout the first 4:58 of the second quarter.
    In that time, the Devils continued to fire offensively as Zaquavian Smith hit on three straight field goals and Yakeem Coleman drilled a 3 to push the lead to 28-11 with 3:02 to play before halftime.
    Coleman connected from long range once more and Jaqawn Raymond (12 points) also hit from behind the arc as SHS extended its advantage to 36-17 at the break.
    Statesboro continued to overwhelm the Mustangs in the second half as the Devils outscored South Effingham 16-5 in the third quarter despite SHS reserves playing out the majority of the minutes. The mercy clock was put in motion for the final quarter as SHS ran out the win.
    “That third quarter was big,” said Hill. “It’s always good to get a lead and then keep the pressure on to close out a region rival like that.”
Lady Devils 65, Lady Mustangs 29
    If its first win over South Effingham was impressive, Statesboro’s performance against the Lady Mustangs Tuesday evening was downright dominant.
    Statesboro took the early lead and never looked back on its way to a 65-29 victory that keeps SHS undefeated in Region 2-AAAA play.
    Alisia Jenkins led the Lady Blue Devils (17-3, 6-0) with 22 points.
    Junior guard Raven Thomas also factored heavily in the SHS win as her suffocating defense contributed to the Mustangs’ 23 turnovers. Thomas also lent a hand on the offensive end, notching 12 points.
    The Statesboro boys and girls will try to keep the good times rolling as both travel to Lakeside, Evans Friday.

    Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.