Dougherty’s David Quimby dribbles past Statesboro defenders Michael Salomon, left, and Oaaron Ware during Friday’s game at the U-Save-It Christmas Classic. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)
ALBANY — Dougherty boys basketball coach Donald Poole stood outside his team’s dressing room Friday night and looked heavily at his team’s scorebook.
Then he shook his head in disgust.
“We’ve got to make a lot of shots that we missed,” Poole said.
It was one of those games Poole would just as soon forget. If it could have gone wrong for the Trojans in the opening day of the U-Save-It Christmas Tournament it did, as powerhouse Statesboro used a commanding second quarter to grab a big lead en route to a 66-46 victory.
Statesboro (7-3) pulled away in the second quarter, using a 2-3 zone to create turnovers, then the Blue Devils opened it up by shooting 5-of-5 from the floor to build a 29-8 advantage. Once Statesboro started running, it seemed the Blue Devils couldn’t be slowed down.
Statesboro shot a sizzling 54 percent (7-of-13) from the floor in the second quarter and built a lead as high as 23 points at 39-16 with 2:20 left in the first half. But the Blue Devils went scoreless during the remainder of the quarter, while Dougherty used a basket and a free throw to trail 39-20 at halftime.
“Our shooting was kind of off (Friday),” Poole said. “We played some ninth-graders, but we don’t want to accept that as an excuse. We’ve got to play smarter and harder and do the things we’re taught to do. There is going to be days like this. They’ve got to keep their heads up and keep working.”
Dougherty (2-4) had a chance to get back into the game when Statesboro missed its first seven shots from the floor to open the third quarter. A free throw from Charles Porter at the 5:58 mark trimmed Dougherty’s deficit to 39-21 before Statesboro’s Michael Salomon keyed an 8-0 run over the next 2:54 with four of his eight points, helping Statesboro build its highest lead at 47-21.
The Trojans got some positive momentum when freshman Jamie Williams drilled a 3-pointer that bounced off the backboard and through the net, then following a steal, Stephen Jenkins nailed another 3-pointer to make it 47-27 early in the third quarter.
Dougherty did manage to cut its deficit to 18 points late in the fourth quarter but never could draw any closer.
Jenkins finished with nine points, while Porter added eight points to lead Dougherty.
Statesboro had 10 of its 12 players on its roster score, including Oaaron Ware’s 12 points which led the team.