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Ware County wallops South Effingham girls
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South Effingham's Kiera NeSmith runs into defensive resistance from Ware County's Matea Boyd on Thursday in Statesboro. - photo by Photo by Gilbert Miller

STATESBORO -- Other than a glaring flub to start the game, the Ware County Lady Gators played virtually flawlessly Thursday night.

After winning the opening tip-off in a Region 2-AAAAA tournament game, Ware County whipped a couple of passes in the wrong direction and almost shot the ball into their own goal before realizing their mistake. They sheepishly recovered and rolled to a 16-4 lead in the first quarter and cruised to a 68-22 victory at Statesboro High School.

Coming off a dramatic 37-36 play-in victory over New Hampstead on Wednesday, the Lady Mustangs never got untracked. They only had 12 points at halftime and center Maleece Newbill tallied 10 of those.

South Effinghan couldn't handle the Lady Gators' relentless pressure. Any pass that was the least bit off target was picked off and turned into an easy fastbreak bucket for the winners, who never took eased their defensive attack.

The Lady Mustangs will battle host Statesboro at 3 p.m. Saturday for a No. 3 seed in the state tournament. The Lady Blue Devils were upset by Wayne County 47-33 Thursday.

Wayne County and Ware County will meet in the championship game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

 In boys action, Statesboro topped Ware County 64-52 and New Hampstead edged Wane County 41-36.