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Region play gets underway for SHS

    In basketball, a lot of success can be earned simply by peaking at the right time.
    After a midseason lull, that’s exactly what the Statesboro boys are poised to do at this season’s Region 2-AAAA tournament.
    Two consecutive wins to close out the regular season vaulted the Blue Devils into a No. 2 seed to give them a bye through the first round of the tournament.
    “That’s definitely big for us,” said SHS coach Lee Hill. “It gives us a couple more days to heal some injuries and to work on fundamentals.”
    Statesboro is one of the hottest teams in the region heading into this week’s tournament.
    Locked in a neck-and-neck battle over the last two weeks with Greenbrier for the No. 2 seed in the ‘B’ sub-region, the Devils beat Greenbrier on the road before outlasting Lakeside on Senior Night to seal their position.
    Now, SHS — which was toiling in the bottom half of the standings after losing three of four games just over a month ago — is just one win away from qualifying for the state playoffs.
    “I’m proud of our guys,” said Hill. “We had some new people in Michael (Summers) and Reggie (Owens) joining us this year. It took some patience and a lot of hard work to find ourselves, but it looks like we have things going pretty well.”
    Thursday, Statesboro will take on the winner of Tuesday night’s play-in game between South Effingham and Liberty County.
    The Devils defeated South Effingham in both of their sub-region matchups this season and have not faced Liberty.
    “We’ve got some experienced guys on our team,” said Hill. “That can help in big games. No matter who we play, we need to keep playing good defense. If our offense comes around, we could be tough to beat.”

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