The Statesboro girls looked like a totally different team Saturday than the one that lost by 14 points in the region tournament opener to Wayne County earlier in the week. This time around, the Lady Blue Devils were firing on all cylinders against South Effingham as they powered their way to a 65-39 victory.
“Our guards were hitting shots today and that opened things up in the post,” said Statesboro coach Jeff Seier. “I hope we play like this in the state, and make our school proud.”
Statesboro opened an early lead and never let up. A couple of three pointers by Jamiah Jones and Alexis Ward helped the Blue Devils open up a 12-5 first quarter lead.
In the second sophomore Lacy Robins took over as she score 16 of her game high 20 points, nearly outscoring South Effingham’s entire first half total, as Statesboro jumped out to a 34-18 halftime lead.
Things only got worse for the Mustangs as the Blue Devils continued to pull away in the second half. Back to back layups by Bailee Roberts, off nice passes from Robins, helped Statesboro to a 53-25 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Jania Joseph scored six straight points as the lead ballooned to 61-31. That was more than enough cushion for the Devils to ease up on the gas, but even cruising to the finish line resulted in a 26-point victory — thier third blowout win over the Lady Mustangs in as many tries after sweeping the regular season series from South Effingham.
“This was a much better effort than the region tournament opener,” Seier said. “I don’t know if it was jitters or we just didn’t match Ware County’s intensity, but we are young and learning, and that is part of the experience.”
Jones had 16 points, while Roberts added 14 for Statesboro. South Effingham was led by Jillian Pelote with seven points.
The win sends Statesboro into the Class AAAAA tournament as the No. 3 seed. They will travel to either Bainbridge or Harris County next Friday.
Ware County captured the region championship over Wayne County in the girls bracket championship contest. The Lady Gators notched a 50-44 win to clinch both the regular season and tournament championships.