Tuesday night at home against the Coffee County Trojans, the Statesboro Blue Devils swept the region. The Blue Devils prevailed in a thrilling 49-47 victory, while the Lady Blue Devils won a commanding 67-44.
The Girls’ Victory Was A Complete Team Performance
After losing to Ware this past Saturday, the Lady Blue Devils’ performance in this game was a major improvement. The Lady Blue Devils struggled to purchase a shot at Ware, but they were putting on a show in their game against the Coffee County Trojans on Tuesday night.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Lady Blue Devils easily won the game because they played to their strengths. Alyssa Staten, a senior, had a few difficult and-1s, while Maggie O’Neil, a sophomore, had a tremendous night, making five threes, including three straight in the third. In the team huddle, her squad had to fan her off since she was so hot.
These girls demonstrate why they belong in the top five teams in the state and as the best team in their region when they play like that. Marty Holder, the head coach, was ecstatic with his team’s victory on Tuesday night.
Holder stated, “Our team returned from that Ware game.” We practiced a lot of the stuff we did tonight, and I believe we played the entire game. Everyone entered the game and participated in tonight’s play. Tonight, they pretended with their hearts.
Alyssa Staten, a senior, led the Lady Blue Devils in scoring with 19 points. Maggie O’Neil, a sophomore, followed that performance with 16 points for the evening. Two more points were added to the scoreboard by Mikiyah Strickland, Shanaria White, Lindsay Johnson, Demia Hartwell, and Reya Johnson, who each had twelve points.
The Boys Came Close, But They Prevailed
There were some differences between the boys’ and girls’ varsity games. Rather than using the girls’ intensity and momentum, the boys got off to a poor start. They allowed the Trojans to take an early 10–4 lead before they started to make noise and turned the game around.
The Blue Devils trailed 25–20 at the break, but they played better in the third quarter than in the first. They rallied, and by the beginning of the fourth, they had taken a dominating 39-30 lead. Despite being outnumbered 14–10, the Blue Devils managed to maintain their lead thanks to two turnovers by the Trojans in the last seconds of the game.
Head coach Keith LeGree discussed the things his squad needs to do to improve in the latter part of the season and maintain focus as they enter the depth of the region.
LeGree declared, “They’ll beat you if you don’t play tough, match their intensity, and meet force with force.” “In region time, the game is not easy. Everyone is aware of your skills and knowledge, and teams like Coffee County and Ware play extremely hard, so if you’re not prepared to face their physicality and passes, they will defeat you.
Junior DJ Brown led the Blue Devils in scoring with 14 points. Senior Kam Mikell scored 13 points to follow that effort. Both Camdyn Wilkerson and Raylin Grant scored eight points. AK Watkins, Mike Goodman, and Devin Mikell each contributed two points to the scoreboard.
Reya Johnson, a senior, was recognized as an honorable mention for scoring her 1,000th point that evening in front of her family, coaches, teammates, and supporters. As a three-year starter for the Blue Devils, Johnson scored 15 points in a Saturday night match against Ware County, surpassing the 1,000-point mark.
What’s Next: The Blue Devils return to action on Saturday night when they play the Tigers in what could be dubbed “Battle of the Boro Part Two” in Swainsboro. The Blue Devils won handily the previous time these two teams faced off, but history repeats itself and this rivalry is set to bleed new blood. The Varsity Boys will play at 6:30 p.m. right after the Varsity Girls, who start at five.