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Devils work overtime
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Statesboro High's Zaquavian Smith, top, catches a lob pass from teammate O'Aaron Ware and dunks over Brunswick's Jabril Heck in the third quarter during the Blue Devil's double-overtime victory Friday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff



    A night after coming up just short in a high-scoring shootout, the drama continued for Statesboro at the Gentlemen’s Classic.
    The Blue Devils hooked up with Brunswick in a back-and-forth struggle that saw Statesboro prevail in double-overtime with a 90-84 victory.
    Alex Simmons hit a free throw at the 3:08 mark of the second overtime. O’Aaron Ware (14 points) added two more following a technical foul called on the Pirates and the Devils never relinquished the lead.
    “It was a real battle tonight,” SHS coach Lee Hill said. “Brunswick is a really good team. It wasn’t surprising when they came back on us and we knew it was going to take our best effort to get a win.”
    Statesboro (9-4) found itself trailing by as many as six points in the final quarter of regulation, but a pair of 3s from Zaquavian Smith (27 points) got the Devils back into contention.
    Brunswick couldn’t connect on a shot just before the regulation buzzer and fell behind in the first overtime before mounting a comeback of their own.
    With both teams tiring, there were only a handful of possessions in the first overtime as the squads settled into their half-court sets. Ware sank a pair of free throws with 5.2 seconds remaining to put the Devils up 72-69.
    Jabril Heck scored nearly all of his game-high 29 points in the paint, but the Brunswick forward calmly knocked down a 3 from the top of the arc as the first overtime expired to send the teams into another extra period.
    “We thought we had it, but that’s why you always keep fighting,” Hill said. “I was proud that our guys stayed focused after (Brunswick) forced another overtime. We stayed calm and kept executing.”
    The Blue Devils held a 36-31 lead at halftime, but Brunswick came out of the break hot and tied the game within the first 30 seconds of the third quarter.
    The teams traded jabs throughout the remainder of overtime. Smith looked to give Statesboro momentum as he capped a 6-0 Devil run with a tremendous slam off an alley-oop, but Brunswick’s Mike Davis (21 points) answered with 3-pointers throughout the night.
    Brunswick held a 72-71 lead with just under a minute left in regulation when Roger Davis misfired on a pair of free throws. Ware was fouled on the other end and made one of his free throws to set up the dramatic overtime finish.
    Statesboro concludes tournament action today as the Devils take on Battery Creek out of Beaufort, S.C. at 8 p.m.
   

Osborne 82, Bradwell Institute 79
    Osborne improved its record at the Gentlemen’s Classic to 2-0 with a hard-fought 82-79 win over Bradwell Institute Friday night.
    The Cardinals were knotted up with the Tigers at 54-54 through three quarters, but exploded early in the final period to build a double-digit lead. Bradwell rallied back and pulled within one point on three different occasions in the final two minutes of action.
    Kyire Hogan (20 points) knocked down a pair of free throws for Osborne with 8.1 seconds remaining to build the lead up to three points.
    The Tigers had time for one final shot, but Tevin Womack’s 3-point attempt hit the front of the rim as the clock ran out.
    Dahaire Haney led all scorers with 31 points and is the leading scorer for all teams through two days of tournament action.

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