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FMB AOTW: Buchannon plays big for Portal
Jones dominates the boards for Statesboro
jones mug
Gwen Jones, a junior forward at Statesboro, pulled down 16 rebounds and scored 11 points in the Lady Blue Devils' 55-22 win Tuesday against Portal. - photo by Staff

    David Buchannon made quite a splash when he and his family moved to Portal, and so far this season, he has helped lead the Panthers to a 14-1 start, including a 5-0 mark in Region 3-A.
    “(Buchannon is) a floor general,” said Portal coach Jeff Brannen before the 2007-08 season tipped off. “He’s a coach on the floor that’s in charge of getting everybody in the right spot. He sets everybody up well, and he’s a true point guard that can score.”
    Nobody knew exactly how big of a role he would play.
    Averaging 21.2 points going into Tuesday night’s game with Statesboro, Buchannon has shown he can score against pretty much anybody, which accompanies his vision and ability to distribute the ball nicely.
    In Tuesday’s highly anticipated matchup against the Statesboro Blue Devils, Buchannon grabbed a game-high 15 points, including a huge 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer that put Portal up 38-36 heading into the fourth. The shot seemed to ignite the Panthers — they never trailed again .
    “It’s a great feeling,” said Buchannon after the win. “We’ve been working real hard and practice. This is a game we’ve been waiting for and this is a big stepping stone for us.”
    Statesboro returns the trip on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

Girls: Jones a force for Statesboro
    Gwen Jones has a knack for finding the rebound.
    Tuesday night at Hanner Fieldhouse, it seemed as though she had planted a magnetic device in the ball, as every time a shot went wide Jones was there to retrieve it.
    “It was a major advantage because (Portal) was so short and we were taller then them,” said Jones. “Our jumping ability is great and all our post players have real good jumping ability.”
    Jones entered Tuesday’s game against rival Portal averaging just over eight rebounds per contest. That average will improve as the junior grabbed a game-high 16 boards in Statesboro’s 55-22 win.
    Jones also had 11 points and went 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
    Jones, however, looked at the bigger picture of Tuesday’s win.
    “It was good for (the younger members of the team) to get in the game,” she said. “Especially to get used to playing in an arena. We plan on getting further than we did last year. It was good to play (at Hanner) to get the feel of the court, the people, the fans and all that.”
    Jones and the Lady Blue Devils will resume Region 3-AAAA play Friday at 6:30 p.m. against the Academy of Richmond County.