Statesboro’s boys basketball squad avenged an early-season loss, taking a quick lead and never looking back in a commanding 57-37 win over Swainsboro Tuesday evening at the Devil’s Den.
Myles White continued his breakout season as an underclassman, leading the way with 17 points for the Blue Devils (13-9). Jaylan Patrick joined White in double-figures, scoring 13 of his own.
“We led all the way, and that’s good to see,” SHS coach Lee Hill said. “I feel like all of our starters played well and it’s great at this time of the season to be able to get some other guys on the bench a few more minutes of playing time.”
The Devils have been up and down in their first season at the Class AAAAA level and are currently treading water in the middle of the pack of a very talented Region 3-AAAAA field.
Tuesday’s non-region game didn’t boost the Devils’ postseason fortunes at all, but should be a shot of confidence for the team after losing decisively in Swainsboro just two months ago.
“I definitely think we’re growing,” Hill said. “That’s always the goal from the start of the season to the end. We’re playing well and hopefully we can take some of this momentum back into our region games.”
The Blue Devils will get another encore matchup Friday night as they resume region play with a road trip to Effingham County. The Devils defeated the Rebels in their region opener back in December.
Lady Devils get back into the mix
Success has been a long time in the making for the Statesboro girls.
The Lady Blue Devils entered Tuesday night losers of seven straight games and had yet to win in 2015, but played one of their most complete games of the season in a 45-21 victory over Swainsboro.
The Lady Blue Devils (9-13) got the better of the Lady Tigers (9-10) for the second time in as many tries this season after winning in Swainsboro back in November.
"I'm very proud of our effort," SHS coach Jeff Seier said. "It's been a while since we've been able to pull out a win."
Victories have come at a premium for the Devils, but they looked like seasoned veterans in shutting down Swainsboro.
Statesboro dominated the early minutes of the game — both physically and in time of possession — in setting the tone.
Tanice Johnson (14) points hit on a tough jumper and drove for two more layups as Statesboro pulled away early.
Dominating defense and the clogging of passing lanes resulted in plenty of quick turnovers by the Tigers. And even when Swainsboro was able to find a shot, it was contested and off the mark.
Swainsboro wasn't able to notch a single point over the first eight minutes as Statesboro claimed a 12-0 lead after the first quarter.
A 3-pointer by D'andera Jones finally got the Tigers on the scoreboard, but more suffocating defense by the Devils kept Statesboro's lead at 22-6 when the halftime buzzer sounded.
By the time Swainsboro found its shooting touch in the second half, the Devils — while in posession of a late lead for the first time in quite a bit — were easily able to coast to the finish line.