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Statesboro girls blast Chamblee, 70-24, in first round of state playoffs
Reya Johnson
Statesboro senior guard Reya Johnson drives in for a basket during the first half of the Lady Devils' victory over Chamblee in the first round of the state playoffs. - photo by JOSH AUBREY/staff

The fourth time proved to be a charm for the Statesboro Lady Devils who broke a four-year draught in getting a state playoff victory as they raced out to an early lead and then ran away from Chamblee winning 70-24 in the opening round of the state 5-A playoffs Wednesday night at Statesboro High School.

“We had to get that monkey off our back,” said SHS coach Marty Holder. “We haven’t advanced past the first round since 2020 and this year that was one of our major goals. I think early on we were just happy to be there, but now we feel we can make a deep run.”

The Blue Devils had come out a little flat in their last couple of games and Holder felt it was important to get off to an early lead. The Blue Devils pressed Chamblee full-court and create turnovers which turned into east baskets. The Blue Devils led 17-6 in the first quarter and were able to expand on that lead as they took a 30-12 lead at the half.

“I saw on tape they were susceptible to the press and we worked all week on man-to-man defensive pressure,” Holder said. “We have started slow but tonight was probably the quickest start we have had as far as intensity and creating turnovers. The region championship loss really woke us up and I am proud of how they have responded.”

Next up for the Blue Devils they will be on the road at Union Grove who come in 27-1 and beat Northgate 65-50 in the opening round of the state playoffs.