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Statesboro sweeps Bradwell
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Statesboro High's Chastity Budget, left, battles Bradwell's Esperanza Castro for a loose ball during Friday's game. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

    Defensively, the Lady Blue Devils of Statesboro are pretty stout. Evident from the team’s 31 points allowed per game. However, offensively the team is still a work in progress eight games into the season.
    Statesboro guard Staysha Everett was able to help her team out by asserting herself offensively Friday night in a 46-36 Region 3-AAAAA win against the Lady Tigers of Bradwell Institute.
    Staysha Everett scored nine first-half points to help her team gain momentum early in the game.
    “I wish we could find the bottom of the net a little bit more, but that’s just girls basketball. I think this was the best game we’ve played all year. The kids were doing a good job of being patient on offense,” SHS head coach Jeff Seier said. “We really don’t have a star player. Someone is going to score eight or 10 points and all the kids are playing as a team.”
    Against Bradwell, Staysha Everett finished the game with 17 points. Dayona Henry scored eight points for the Lady Blue Devils and Daysha Everett scored seven.
    Kesionna Rollins had seven points on the night to go along with one blocked shot and 10 rebounds. Keeba Redfield had a team-high four steals and two blocked shots.
    Regardless of the team’s offense this season, the Lady Blue Devils (6-2, 1-2) are finding ways to win.
    Statesboro already matched their region win total from last year and are just two wins shy of matching their overall win total from last year.
    “We are building up. First things first is we have to play every night and see what we can do,” Seier said. “We are starting to play as a team instead of just five individual players out there on the court.”
    In the second quarter, the Lady Blue Devils started to pressure the ball more, giving the Lady Tigers trouble.
    SHS would end the first half on a 12-5 run to take the lead 24-15.
In the third quarter with just under four minutes to play, the Lady Blue Devils would go on an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 32-17.
    It appeared as though Statesboro was headed for an easy night, but the Lady Tigers battled back in the fourth quarter to keep the game close. However, it wouldn’t be enough to stop a surging SHS team.
    “I think we played really well up until the end,” Seier said, laughing. “And you have to give credit to Bradwell for not giving up.”
    The Lady Blue Devils will enjoy another home game as the team gets set to face the Lady Panthers of Portal in a cross-town rivalry rematch today at 6 p.m.

Statesboro 57, Bradwell Institute 23
    It was a tale of two quarters for Statesboro High School’s offense Friday night against Bradwell Institute.
    The Blue Devils (5-1, 2-1 Region 3-AAAAA) started the game slow—very slow— but SHS picked up the intensity in the third quarter to cruise to a 57-23 victory.
    Michael Salomon fell shy of a double-double, grabbing eight rebounds and scoring 14 points. Point guard Jaylan Patrick added 10 points and seven assists on the night. Myles White had six points and one blocked shot.
    “Starting the game, offensively, we couldn’t hit anything but I thought the defense was there. At halftime I told the team you will have nights when the offense isn’t there, but your defense should always be there,” said Blue Devils head coach Lee Hill. “We came out in the second half and made some shots and I think that was the difference in the ball game.”
    The Blue Devils ended the first quarter shooting just 3-for-13, but Hill’s halftime speech seemed to resonate with his players in the second half.
    The Blue Devils started the third quarter six-for-six scoring baskets in transition, including an off-the-backboard alley-oop from Patrick to Salomon that got the crowd at Statesboro High School going.
    “We started out slow, but as the second half came we picked up our defense,” said Cameron Harvey, who scored 10 points against the Tigers. “We just had to pick up our defense and the offense would come.”
    The Blue Devils defense was fierce all night. SHS held the Tigers to just four first-quarter points. Statesboro’s 15-2 run with three minutes left to play in the third quarter allowed the team to jump out to a 34-11 lead.
    From there, the bench took over and continued to apply the defensive intensity. Montrell Hilton and Jarquez Cone combined to score eight points off the bench, four and four respectively.
    “It feels good to win like this because we can get all the players in the game and we get some rest at the end of the game,” Harvey said.
    The Blue Devils will be in action tonight at home against Portal High School.

    Horace Holloman may be reached at (912) 489-9408.