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Statesboro drains Battery Creek

Gentlemen's Classic
Thursday's Scores

    Battery Creek 56, Liberty Co. 52
    Osborne 82, Bradwell Inst. 79
    Statesboro 90, Brunswick 84
Friday's Scores
    Brunswick 66, Bradwell Inst. 35
    Liberty County 88, Osborne 72
    Statesboro 64, Battery Creek 48

    The Statesboro Blue Devils took an early 17-6 lead and never looked back as they knocked off South Carolina’s Battery Creek 64-48 on Saturday in the finale of the Gentlemen’s Classic at the Devils’ Den.
    The Blue Devils were led by Zaquavian Smith, who scored 19 points. O’Aaron Ware added 13 for the Blue Devils.
    Statesboro coach Lee Hill thought the Devils adjusted well to a team that tried to slow down the pace of the game.
    “Last night (against Brunswick) we had great offense — we shot 12 3s — but you’re not going to do that every night,” Hill said. “I thought the defense got better and that was key. We’re going to be able to score during the season, but we really need to learn how to play better defense. We didn’t let them score on us as much as we have been in the past.”
    Eric Freeman scored 18  for Battery Creek.
    “They brought a great team,” Hill added. “They’re very athletic and they have some size, and it was a different type team than we’re used to seeing. That’s what we want to see. They were patient, they ran the offense and they created a lot of pressure.”
    Smith helped the Statesboro defense early with a pair of first-quarter 3s, and made 11 free throws in the fourth quarter to close out the game.
    Meanwhile Battery Creek managed only six points in the first quarter and trailed by double digits throughout the most of the contest, closing the gap to 29-20 at the break.
    “We grew up a lot,” Hill said. “We adjusted well. I thought every time they threw something at us, we were able to come back on offense and do something good.”
    Statesboro returns to action after the new year when it plays host to Liberty County on Jan. 3, at 7:30 p.m.

    Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.