Tift County made it a clean sweep for the weekend with a pair of wins over the Crisp County Cougars at home Saturday night, while Friday night action saw Brannen Greene put on a show by himself. After dominating wins over the weekend, Tift County hopes to keep up the momentum when they head for Florida this week.
The boys are undefeated on the season and possess a No. 12 ranking according to the latest MaxPreps poll, while the girls have secured a winning record, 3-2, after winning their second consecutive game.
The Lady Devils topped the Lady Cougars, 58-52. Most of the offense was supplied by Brakia Bateman and DeeDee DeShazer, who each had 20 points.
After beginning their season with a loss to Westover, Tift has made strong showings in each game, including a tight first half against perennial state contenders, Buford. Saturday completed a weekend of sweeps as the both the Devils and Lady Devils took victories over Central High of Macon Friday.
Tift County’s boys remain undefeated after another blowout victory,, dominating Crisp, 72-43. Like the girls, a duo of Devils scored 20+ points. Tadric Jackson led the way with 26, while Greene had 20. Donell Huff joined them in double figures with 10.
Against the Central Chargers Friday, Greene delighted the crowd with a triple double, scoring 26 points, snatching 12 rebounds and delivering 10 assists, while the Devils nearly doubled their opponents with a 91-50 victory.
Adding to the Devil onslaught was Jackson, who had another 20 point night, while Rashawn Canady reached double figures with 11.
None of Tift’s opponents this season have come closer than 21 points, the average scored being 83-55.
The Lady Devils similarly crushed Central with a 58-27 win.
The Devils and Lady Devils hope to increase their winning streaks this week as they head to the Sunshine State for Christmas tournaments.
The Blue Devils participate in the City of Palms tourney in Fort Myers, which includes teams from 11 states. They will start today, playing against an opponent from the opposite coast — Long Beach Poly, from Long Beach, Calif.
If they win, their next opponent will be either from another faraway place or somewhere much closer to home: Omaha Central from Nebraska or Eagle’s Landing from McDonough, Ga.
The City of Palms tournament has long been a showcase for national talent and Tift will be bringing their own in Greene. The Kansas signee is ranked by ESPN as the No. 43 player in the nation.
The girls also head to Florida, scheduled to play teams from Dunbar and Labelle before participating in the Bulldog Holliday tournament at Flagler Beach against two more native opponents, Bradford and Seabreeze.
After hopeful fun in the sun in Florida, both the Devils and Lady Devils return home for the McDonalds Invitational, beginning Dec. 27.
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Dr. Eric Holland and the Tift County Blue Devils were undecided earlier this week on a hotel room in Macon. One might not be needed. They might have been able to simply float home. The final game of the 2013-14 season was played Saturday night at the Macon Centreplex and it ended with a No. 1 team crowned in Class AAAAAA. Ten years after their last championship game appearance and 18 since their one and only title, the Blue Devils added a second to the trophy case, defeating the Wheeler Wildcats, 63-49.
Faith and ‘big three’ led Holland to crown
A bus brought the Tift County Blue Devils to the Macon Centreplex Saturday. One brought them back to Tifton. It probably was not really needed.
Nobles is new Irwin County coach
The Irwin County Indians football team has a new chief.
Buddy Nobles has been hired to take over the reins of the program from Jon Lindsey, who left Irwin to take the head coaching job at Cook High.
Nobles comes to Irwin County after being an assistant on Robby Pruitt’s staff at Coffee High since 2012. Having been with Pruitt at his previous stop at Fitzgerald High, Nobles comes to Ocilla with a lot of knowledge of the Indian program.
Little River Paddle Race March 22
Join the Friends of Reed Bingham State Park and WWALS Watershed Coalition on March 22 for the second annual Big Little River Paddle Race.
- Tift wins state title
Panthers rally but can't top Valwood
The Tiftarea Academy Panthers had a late comeback, but their bats could not warm up enough as they were defeated 9-4 by the Valwood Valiants on a chilly Friday night.
- Buddy Nobles is new head Irwin County head football coach
Devils down to their final game
Dr. Eric Holland does not have the jitters. His Tift County Blue Devils are individually playing in their first state basketball championship game Saturday night at 8:45 p.m. at the Macon Centreplex against the Wheeler Wildcats. For him, this is old hat.
"I'm excited like always, but never nervous," he said. He believes the team will follow his example. "Our preparation has been good and our emotions are intact. This is the most focused I've seen them."
Tucker’s team first to go to state finals
Looking back at history, the Blue Devils seem to like years that end in four. It is the year 2014 and they are in the state finals. Their last finals appearance was in 2004. Their first came in Class A in 1954.
Wilkinson wins over Turner County
Torrico Simmons scored 18 points to lead Wilkinson County to a 72-64 win over Turner County in the GHSA Class A boys state championship game at the Macon Coliseum.
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- State champs!