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Let the playoffs begin
Devils agenda: Contain the big men
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Mario Jackson and the Statesboro Blue Devils host Whitewater in the opening round of the Class AAAA boys state playoffs Saturday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/file
    The Whitewater Wildcats are coming to town Saturday, and rumor has it they may be bringing a pretty big crowd with them. With that in mind, coach Lee Hill hopes the Blue and White nation will do its part to fill the stands Saturday night, and he’ll do his part to prepare his team for Stephen Sargent and Zach Scurry.
    Sargent and Scurry are WHS’ (17-11) two big men, and a big reason why Whitewater expects big things in this year’s state tournament.
    The third seed out of region 2-AAAA, the Wildcats are a team that can hurt their opponent both inside and out. Whether it’s with the 6-foot-10 Sargent and the 6-6 Scurry on the post, or point guard Jay Bright from the perimeter, these Cats are dangerous.
    “I’ve got to find out what’s the best defense we can play them in,” said Hill, who took a trip to Macon to snag game tapes of the boys from Fayetteville. “I know one thing is we’re going to have to press more than we’ve been because we can’t let them set up in their half-court (offense).”
    With all the focus on the center Sargent, Hill said Scurry has become the team’s leading scorer by picking up open baskets and beating defenses entirely committed to stopping Sargent.
    As the Wildcats board the buses Saturday for a three-and-a-half hour trip to SHS, Hill will have his boys hold a pregame walk through to try and help them regain the inexplicable lack of energy he saw in last Saturday’s region 3-AAAA championship at the Academy of Richmond County.
    “We never could get in a rhythm. I thought we never did play hard enough, I don’t know why, if we were tired or what,” said Hill. “We’ve been trying to get (that energy) back here in practice, and I don’t know if it’s because the kids were in a championship game and had never been there, maybe they were tight. But it seems there was something missing.”
    The Blue Devils have been taking advantage of the week off from school by having afternoon practices and are hoping that “something missing” is back by 7 p.m. Saturday.