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Statesboro hoops enduring long layoff
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    Yes, Statesboro still has a basketball program.
    The Blue Devils have gone missing since a Dec. 8 game in Savannah at Johnson. With cancellations and voided contracts, SHS has gone three weeks without seeing a different color jersey on the hardwood.
    But head coach Lee Hill has been through layoffs like this before, right?
    “No we haven’t,” he said. “But that’s just the way it worked out. I don’t like it.”
    The boys squad (3-3) was supposed to face Emanuel County Institute at the start of the month, but that game was nixed due to ECI’s run through the football state playoffs.
    Statesboro also had a home-and-home lined up with Mays High School out of Atlanta, but that game also fell through at the last moment.
    The Devils will finally get back to action tonight when they face Griffin in the first round of the Griffin Pro Classic at 7:30 p.m.
    “We’ve been practicing everyday,” said Hill. “And I think we’ve been having some good practices. We’ve been doing game-like situations. Towards the end we do a lot of fundamental things we need to work on.”
    On the girls side, the Lady Devils (8-1) don’t play until Dec. 27 when they travel to Jesup to play Wayne County in the Altahama Tech Tournament.
    “We took about four or five dates off so the kids can get ready for final exams,” he said. “We’re just getting ready to go back to work (Thursday) for our first practice since last Thursday. We’ve just been trying to scrimmage a lot. Try game situations the best that we can.”
    Both Hill and Seier expect their teams to be rusty this week. They also expect the big layoff to have both a positive and negative effect on the season as a whole.
    “The basketball season is so long — maybe somewhere around five or six months — a few weeks off might not be such a bad thing,” said Seier.
    Added Hill:”(The layoff could affect us) either way. I think it will help us because we played some tough teams, so that helps us understand what we need to work on more. You want to play, but you want to get a lot of practice in, too.”
    After the Pro Classic in Griffin, the Statesboro boys will travel to Atlanta to play in the Peach State Classic. The Blue Devils face Southwest Dekalb on Dec. 27 at 10 a.m., then face either Morrow or Westlake on Dec. 28. SHS is one of 18 teams in the tournament.

    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.