Day two of Statesboro High’s Gentlemen’s Classic saw the Blue Devils playing without two starters, but it didn’t slow them down much as they won their second straight game by over 20 points with a 62-40 win over Richmond Academy.
Starting point guard Tray Burns injured his hip in Tuesday’s game against First Presbyterian, and starting forward Chris Hill is off the next few days playing in an all star football game in Daytona Beach.
Blue Devil head coach Lee Hill inserted freshman O.J. Reese and Jaylon Hicks into the starting lineup, and Statesboro was a bit out of sync before going on a 10-0 run late in the first quarter that carried into the second. The Blue Devils eventually took a 31-20 lead into halftime.
Statesboro raced out on a 15-0 run to start the third. The Musketeers went scoreless until the 2:05 mark of the third quarter, at which point Statesboro had already built a commanding 42-20 lead.
“We played a lot of kids that hadn’t played together too much tonight,” said Statesboro coach Lee Hill. “I think it took them a little while to get going but once they did things looked good.”
Even though it may have taken the players a little while offensively to get in sync, the defensive pressure was a constant throughout the game.
“What I like about our team is even if we are not hitting they don’t give up defensively,” said Hill, “We really shut their big man down in the second half and caused a lot of turnovers throughout the game.”
Statesboro was led by Daniel Cooper who had 17 points, Tyler Goodman added 13, while Zarion Griffin had nine points. Coach Hill was happy with Goodman playing his second straight solid game and also singled out a couple of non-starters who have been playing well.
“I’m really impressed by the progress of sophomore Taylor Gilchrist, (8 points) and Jaylon Hicks (7 points) has been playing well,” said Hill. “If we keep getting play like that from our bench I like the way things are shaping up.”
Hicks not only impressed coach Hill, but did so with the crowd on hand as well. With 1:45 left in the game Hicks drove the lane and threw down a one handed dunk in traffic, much to the delight of the fans who had stuck around.
“I really want to say thank you to the people who have some out the past two nights,” said Hill, “Our kids and our staff really appreciate it when we can get people to come out during the holidays and support our team.”
Next up, Statesboro (10-2) will take on Screven County at 8 p.m. as the Gentlemen’s Classic wraps up Thursday night. Other games include Swainsboro vs. First Presbyterian at 5:00 and Richmond Academy and Glynn Academy tipping off at 6:30.
Other scores from Wednesday night include Glynn Academy beating Swainsboro 74-49, and Glenn Hills over First Presbyterian 96-51.