Statesboro’s girls have high expectations for this season and they played like a championship-caliber team Saturday.
The Lady Blue Devils (16-3, 5-0 Region 2-AAAA) stepped on the gas early, leaving Brunswick in their dust in a 64-40 romp at the Devil’s Den.
“I think that we’ve been going pretty good these last few games,” said SHS coach Jeff Seier. “We’re playing well as a team, and it’s getting to be the time of season where you want to hit your peak.”
At the center of the Devil production were a pair of familiar faces.
Junior forwards Alisia Jenkins (17 points, 13 rebounds) and Sierra Kirkland (16 points, 10 rebounds) each racked up double-doubles as both used their superior size and athleticism to outclass Brunswick.
Statesboro’s inside game has been dominant all season and Saturday was no exception.
By utilizing their advantages in rebounding, passing and the transition game, the Devils were able to bully their way past Brunswick for easy scoring opportunities.
The tone was set early as Statesboro all 35 of its first half points — and all but four of its total points — from either inside the paint or at the free throw line.
“We were executing very well offensively tonight,” said Seier. “We’ve got a very good post game, so getting it down low is always part of our game plan. Tonight, our guards did a great job of pressing the ball up-court and finding our post players. When you succeed in doing that, you’re going to get a lot of points in the paint.”
The Pirates briefly pulled close in the second quarter as a pair of buckets by Destiny Alston — who led Brunswick with 15 points -— made it a 20-13 Statesboro lead, but the Devils quickly responded.
More solid defense and a steady stream of offensive execution bolstered SHS as the Devils broke out on a 15-2 run to close the second quarter, giving them a comfortable 35-15 advantage at halftime.
The Pirates found some offensive momentum coming out of the locker room as they notched four of the first six points of the second half, but it was far to late to help their cause.
Statesboro continued to grind out defensive possessions and kept working its way into the Brunswick paint for easy shots on the other end of the floor. By the time the third quarter came to a close, the Devils held a 50-26 lead and winding down the final eight minutes was the only obstacle left for SHS.
“It’s good to see the team stay focused at the end of the game,” said Seier. “We kept our foot on the pedal and kept playing well. I was especially pleased with some of our JV girls. They got the opportunity to play some minutes and are really improving.”
Statesboro returns to sub-region play Tuesday when the Devils take on South Effingham.
Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.