Statesboro and Southeast Bulloch wrapped up their home and home basketball series Saturday night at Statesboro High with another Blue Devil sweep. The Jackets once again didn’t go away without a fight on the boys side, as they fell 56-46. The girl’s game was lopsided once again, with the Blue Devils coming out on top 59-26.
In his 42 years of coaching Statesboro coach Lee Hill decided from time to time to stop playing Southeast Bulloch because of how lopsided the scores had gotten. After Saturday night’’s 56-46 win over the Jackets, Hill was so frustrated by his team putting forth another lackluster effort, he contemplated whether they should continue the series.
“I don’t understand how we can get up like we do for Swainsboro and Wayne County, and then play like we did tonight,” Hill said. “These kids just don’t understand that this is a rivalry. It’s clear that Southeast Bulloch takes these games seriously, I wish our kids did too,”
“They have a good team, and they played really hard tonight,” Hill said. “Our kids just kind of walked their way through it. Southeast Bulloch made a lot of three pointers, and we just kept leaving them all alone. You can look at our kids body language, and it wasn’t good out there tonight.”
The Jackets kept the game pretty close for most of the first half, tying the game at 14-14 after a three by Jordyn Bradford. Neither team shot too well in the second quarter. Southeast Bulloch managed just one field goal in the second quarter, and trailed 22-15 at the half.
The Jackets battled back in the third quarter as they heated up from long range. Bradford hit three from behind the arc, while Ryan Swanson added a pair of three pointers, as the Jackets cut the lead to four.
“I felt like we made a couple nice runs,” said Southeast Bulloch coach Matt Kuykendall. “We played pretty well on defense, but didn’t play too well on offense. Credit to Statesboro they are a well-coached team, and very big.”
The Blue Devils came back in the fourth behind the play of senior Zarion Griffin. Griffin started driving to the basket where he either scored or was fouled. Griffin scored 11 of his game high 21 points in the fourth quarter.
“I was proud of the way we fought and hustled out there,” Kuykendall said. “When we moved the ball around we had some success. Hopefully we can build on this.”
Statesboro improves to 14-5 after their 13th straight win. The loss drops the Jackets to 7-11. Statesboro was led by Griffin with 21 points, Swanson had 15 points to lead the Jackets while Bradford added 12 points.
The Statesboro girl’s may not have a 13-game win streak, but they have managed to win 12 of their last 13 games. The latest victory came at the hands of their county rival, with a 59-26 win over Southeast Bulloch.
The Blue Devils rode the back of a hot shooting night from senior Lacy Robins, who scored 22 points including five three pointers.
“I thought we played pretty well, particularly in the first half,” said Statesboro coach Jeff Seier. “We lacked a little intensity in the second half, we know if we are fortunate enough to advance to the state tournament we will have to be locked in for an entire game, and that is what are are building toward.”
Statesboro wasted no time in jumping ahead. The Blue Devils took at 21-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, and went on to cruise to a 42-18 halftime lead.
Neither team really showed up after halftime. The Jackets went scoreless in the third quarter, while the Blue Devils managed only one field goal. Statesboro cleared the bench early in the fourth, and outscored Southeast Bulloch 19-8 in the second half.
“I tried to tell them not to look at the scoreboard, and just work on what we need to work on,” said SoutheastBulloch coach Meredith Belcher. “Sometimes it feels like they come in already defeated for a game like this. We played a great game last night, and then to play like this is frustrating. Hopefully we can put this behind is and move on.”
Statesboro improves to 15-3 on the season, while the Jackets fall to 7-11. Robins led the Blue Devils with 22 points, Southeast Bulloch was led by Madison Taylor with seven points.
Up next for Statesboro they will travel to South Effingham Tuesday night. Up next for Southeast Bulloch they host Windsor Forest Friday night.