Regardless of what Statesboro High head coach Lee Hill got under his tree, it’s been a great Christmas break for the Blue Devils. After going 3-0 in the U-Save-It Classic in Albany, the Blue Devils capped off a perfect 3-0 record in their own Gentlemen’s Classic with a 72-65 win over Greenbrier Saturday night.
Statesboro used solid defensive pressure, and pulled away in the second half thanks to a balanced scoring attack. Zarion Griffin led the way with 23 points, while Jacobi Edenfield and Joe Burns each had 15 points.
“We just beat a really good team out there tonight,” Hill said. “We have really tried to play some good competition before we start our region play, and I like the way we are coming together right now. We are playing well defensively, and tonight we got a little more balanced scoring which I like.”
Coach Hill was concerned about his team’s stamina entering their third straight game. The Blue Devils don’t have a very deep bench, and Hill was fearful the outside shots may not fall due to leg weariness. That proved to be the case early on, as the shots weren’t falling, and Statesboro found themselves trailing 14-11 after one quarter of play.
“I told you last night that was a concern of mine,” Hill said. “We weren’t hitting from outside early, so I told then to start taking the ball to the basket.”
The Blue Devils smartly followed the advice of the man who has been coaching longer than most of the parents have been alive. The Blue Devils responded by finding success driving to the basket and eventually tied the game at 23-23 at the half.
At least one Blue Devil player found his legs after halftime. Senior guard Joe Burns heated up in the third quarter scoring five three pointers, accounting for all of his 15 points in the game. His final three pointer extended the Blue Devil lead to 52-43.
“Joe got hot, and that’s what you need from your senior,” Hill said. “I have been trying to get him to shoot more, and you saw what he is capable of tonight as he hit all five of his three point shots.”
While Burns was the man in the third, it was one of the Blue Devils reserve players who came through in the fourth. Senior Jacobi Edenfield started finding success attacking the rim, and came up with 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter.
“Edenfield played really well tonight,” Hill said. “He got off to a slow start coming from football, but I think he is starting to get more into the basketball groove, and we will need him to continue this kind of play.”
Griffin led the way with 23, while Edenfield and Burns both had 15 points. Greenbrier was led by Cyrus Wilder who had 19 points for the Wolfpack. Statesboro improves to 9-5 on the season. Up next the Blue Devils open region play at New Hampstead on Tuesday.