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Lady Devils off to a rough start
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Statesboro High's Jania Joseph, center, finds herself surrounded in the paint by Burke County defenders Tyasia Freeman, left, and Celeste Adams during the second quarter Monday. A swarming Lady Bear defense gave Statesboro fits all night as Burke County walked away with a convincing 61-33 victory in the first round of Statesboro's 'Ladies Night Out' tournament at the Devil's Den.

    Statesboro High and Bulloch Academy both opened the season with their girl’s teams hosting tournaments.  Unfortunately, like their neighbors across town, the Lady Blue Devils fell in their season opener, as Burke County ran away with a decisive 61-33 victory.

    This one was never really close, with Burke taking a 21-9 lead after one quarter of play and extending it to 38-14 at the half and then cruising to the 28-point final margin.  The Blue Devils (0-1) struggled in almost every aspect of the game, primarily in turnovers and on the defensive side of the ball as the Bears' QuinDeja Hamilton nearly outscored the Blue Devils by herself in notching a game-high 29 points.

    “We had an off night shooting and they looked like they had an on night shooting," said Statesboro head coach Jeff Seier. “We are a little unsure of our assignments but we need to get to work and get better.”

    Monday's game wrapped up the first day of the annual 'Ladies Night Out' tournament that Blue Devils have hosted for over a decade. This season, Calvary Day, Cross Creek, Josey and Liberty County have all joined Burke and Statesboro in the popular early-season tournament.

    “These are teams that don’t play in our region so we normally don’t see them,”  said Seier.  “Playing these kind of good schools will give us an idea of what we need to work on.”

    The Blue Devils were led by Lacy Robins who had a team-high 17 points, but the Blue Devils next leading scorer had five points — something Seier says will need to change if the team is to be successful moving forward.

    “We will need a little more balance and need other girls to step up,”  said Seier.  I’m sure we will have a better night tomorrow when we take on Josey.”

    Tonight's schedule tips off with Calvary Day vs. Burke County at 4 p.m., followed by Liberty County vs. Cross Creek at 5:30. Statesboro and Josey will wrap up the second and final night of the tournament with a tipoff that is scheduled for 7 p.m.

    Other finals from Monday night included Josey knocking off Liberty County 49-29 and Calvary Day beating Cross Creek by a score of 45-35.