Tifton Gazette

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.


Text Only
Local Sports
  • TCHS hosts Saturday’s track sectionals

    Step one is over for the Tift County Blue Devils. The region track meet took place last week and now it is time for sectionals and for the second week in a row, Tifton will be host to a big group of athletes.

    April 24, 2014

  • Soccer playoffs set for Devils

    Soccer playoffs have now been set for the Tift County Blue Devils.

    April 24, 2014

  • Needmore to host Southern Sprint Car Showdown

    This Saturday night, Needmore Speedway will host the second round of a Southern Sprint Car Showdown as sprint cars from the ASCS and Carolina Sprint Car Series will challenge drivers from the Florida Sprint Car Series.

    April 24, 2014

  • Bulloch Academy upsets Lady Panthers, 2-1

    The 2014 soccer season ended Wednesday afternoon for the Lady Panthers of Tiftarea Academy at the Panther Pit. A No. 2 seed going into the state playoffs, they were defeated 2-1 by the Bulloch Academy Lady Gators in the first round.

    April 23, 2014

  • Fillies ready for GCAA softball tourney

    "I'd rather be us than anyone else right now."
    That is the boast of Donna Campbell, head coach of the ABAC Fillies softball team. Looking at how the team has been doing going into the GCAA state playoffs, it is hard to disagree with her.

    April 23, 2014

  • Panthers will play six on the road in 2014

    For Ryan Branch and the Tiftarea Academy Panthers football team, it is one step closer to a regular football schedule. They have 10 games this year, down from the 11 of the past two.

    April 22, 2014

  • Horne named to MaxPreps freshman squad

    Chalk up one more for the Tift County boys basketball team. Another list of honors was released this week and not surprisingly, a local player was honored.

    April 22, 2014

  • ABAC golf team finishes eighth in district championship

    The golf team at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College wound up the year with an 8th place finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association District 4 Championship in Albany at Stonebridge Country Club.

    April 22, 2014

  • Tiftarea headed for state track meet

    There will be lots at stake and lots at state for Tiftarea Academy Thursday. The state track meet is set to begin at Albany's Hugh Mills Stadium and the Panthers have qualified in 21 different events. Long distance, short distance, relays, jumping, there will be at least one individual in all of those and in a handful of events, there will be two Panthers.

    April 22, 2014

  • 20140421 Alex Abbott slides in.tif Blue Devils slide past ‘Cats on Senior Day

    Nine seniors started the day Monday for the Tift County Blue Devils against the Bainbridge Bearcats. Throughout the game, several different combinations were used. By the end of it, the combination of Alex Abbott and Will Reinhardt was the one that mattered most.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

Business Marquee
House Ads
Weather Radar

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

     View Results