Tifton Gazette

Breaking News

Local Sports

January 29, 2013

Togetherness, tough schedule, team work have Lady Devils rolling

TIFTON — To hear Tift County Lady Devil  head basketball coach Julie Conner talk, the T on her team’s uniforms has stood for more than Tift County in recent weeks.

The Lady Devils have reeled off 14 straight wins and are currently posting a 17-3 overall mark on the year. Conner attributes that to many things among them, team work, togetherness as a team and a tough schedule. All of those T’s have led the Lady Devils to you guessed it, a terrific season.

“We played some tough games early and got some perspective on how good of a team we could be this year,” said Conner. “We played two state champions in Buford and Dunbar (Fla.) and we played them tough. I think that helped us realize we had a lot of potential. We just had to work hard and play together.”

Tift lost to Buford, 65-36, but, “We played even with them for a half, and I think we learned a lot from that game,” Conner said. Buford was the state champions last year in Class AA.

The game against Dunbar (Fla.) saw the Lady Devils fall 57-53.

“They were another team that is defending a state championship and I think we realized just how good we could be when we stayed with them,” said Conner.

She added, “Going back to the last game of last season, three of our last four losses have been to teams that are defending state champions or ranked No. 1 this season. Westover is the only one of that group that is not and we came back and got them.”

“We played a team like Dunbar so close, I think it helped us realize that we have a lot of potential this season. We just had to work hard and play together.”

The two games with Westover do show just how far the Lady Devils have come this season. Westover defeated Tift, 44-26, in the Lady Devils’ season opener. Tift came back on Jan. 15 and got a 67-62 win over Westover on the road in Albany.

Besides the tough schedule, Conner cited her team’s togetherness as an unit.

“I really think our (mid-December) trip to Florida helped us. We became closer as a family and it really helped our team chemistry,” said Conner.

Conner missed that trip due to medical problems, but has gotten healthier, with her team’s play probably having a lot to do with her healing.

“I would like to hope that maybe I have been an inspiration for them. I want them to know they can overcome any adversity,” said Conner. “I want them to give everything they have.”

Even though they are currently 17-3 on the year, and better yet, unbeaten in league play with an 8-0 record, Conner feels the Lady Devils still have a lot of room for improvement.

“The great thing about this team is they have yet to play 32 minutes of great basketball. They have shown signs of it for as long as a half, but they have yet to put together four great quarters.

“What makes it special is that I not only think that is possible, I know it is.”

Tift will be back in action Friday at Lowndes.

 

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 20140726 John Gamble.JPG Rosters, voodoo doctors topics at Kickoff to Men’s Health

     In addition to the local football coaches speaking Saturday at the Tift Regional Medical Center's Men's Health Event at the YMCA, three others from the area also spoke, Buddy Nobles of Irwin County, John Gamble of Turner County and Jason Strickland of Fitzgerald. Discussions ranged from the more conventional topics of scrimmages and rosters to stranger mentions of voodoo doctors.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Panthers gain additional home contest in 2014

    There will be a change to the Tiftarea Academy Panthers' football schedule and one that will be of benefit to home fans.

    July 26, 2014

  • Column: Of football schedules and solutions for world peace

    Looking back over Tift County's football schedule, I'm getting more and more excited about the new schools I'm going to get to see. I have never watched Henry County, Luella, Baldwin, Alcovy and Lee County in person.

    July 26, 2014

  • 2014 sport stacking doubles.JPG Local sport stacking champs going to Junior Olympics

    Locals Drew and Will Pridgen will be taking their first airplane ride on Tuesday. They are on their way to Des Moines, Iowa, to compete in the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games in sport stacking.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140726 John Reid.JPG Football coaches speak at TRMC health event

    A big crowd attended the eighth annual Tift Regional Medical Center Kickoff to Men's Health, which featured food, giveaways, health screenings, health care tips, a speech from longtime referee Dick Kitchens as well as a preseason update from many of the area's head football coaches, emceed by Chris Beckham.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Libby Barbour.jpg Barbour shines at New York college

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • kid golfers 7-25.tif Tifton duo to take on the world

    The invasion is set to begin July 31. That is the day that not just one, but two 11-year-old Tifton golfers hit the courses at Pinehurst, N.C. Their goal? A world championship.
    Josie Arant and Jensen Rainey are the ones questing for this title, the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship. Actually, they both 11 for the moment. Josie will celebrate her 12th birthday Aug. 1, the second day of the tournament.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brown starting Pop Warner squad

    Dreams do come true, if you ask Brian Brown. Waiting for years to set up a youth football league in Tift County, he finally has his chance. He hosts a Heads Up football camp this morning and is starting up Pop Warner teams.
    "It's been a dream of mine for 10 years," he said.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hayden Murphy.JPG Murphy named All American

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tift County T logo Devils to host first Taste of Tifton

    Get out the party hats. Or to be true to the events, the party helmets. With the season just around the corner, the inaugural Taste of Tifton is on its way Aug. 2 as a kick-off party for the Tift County Blue Devils football team at Eighth Street Middle.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Business Marquee
House Ads
Weather Radar
Video
Poll

Do you plan to watch any of the Republican National Convention?

Yes
No
     View Results