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FMB AOTW: Cox fuels PHS to rivalry win
Bennett off to flying start
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Monnette Bennett, a senior forward at Statesboro is averaging 16.7 points in Statesboro’s first three games. - photo by Staff

     It's been a quick transition from the football field to the basketball court for many Portal Panthers, and for Steven Cox, it's no exception.
    He was all over the place during the football season — which ended just a few weeks ago — having started the season as starting quarterback and moving to running back where he could block for the mid-season switch to the spread attack.
    Now, with barely enough time to swap jerseys, it's basketball season.
    The junior guard did not put up flashy numbers in Portal's season-opener against the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets, but he came off of the bench to make the plays when he had to.
    With the game going back and fourth into the final quarter, it was a Cox layup that put the Panthers up with 2:43 to go in the game.
    On the very next play, Cox got a steal and converted another layup to give PHS a 57-54 lead and put them up for good.
    "It seems like Steven Cox," said Panther coach Jeff Brannen, "made about three steals there in the fourth quarter when we needed them."
    Cox recorded four points and two steals to go along with a rebound that set up a Mario farris bucket in the final moments of the game to seal the victory.
    Cox and the Panthers return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Southeast Bulloch for a rematch.

Monnette Bennett
    There’s no secret that Monnett Bennett is one of the best basketball players in the state.
    What may be a secret is that she’s never staisfied.
    “We’re doing pretty good... well, OK — we still got to work on our defense.”
    The senior forward at Statesboro is averaging 16.7 points over her first three games, helping the Devils to a 3-0 start.
    Still, she see’s room for improvement.
    “We’ve been getting away (with bad defense) because the teams we’ve played haven’t been up to par. When we play somebody that’s really good we’re going to have to step our game up.”
    The future Georgia Tech-ster is a force on the boards, as well as in transition when getting her teammates involved. She can score from anywhere on the court.
    Of course, she confessed should could play better than she has to start the 2007-2208 season.
    “When she’s in the ballgame we’re a different team,” said SHS coach Jeff Seier. “It’s not just that she can score. She’s an excellent passer, she’s our best defender and our second leading rebounder.”
    Bennett and the Lady Blue Devils will conclude the Ladies Night Tournament tonight with the finale against Camden County at 8 p.m.