Wednesday, Jan. 30, the TCHS air rifle team went shoulder-to-shoulder with Worth County and shot 1,107 to Worth’s 1,094, improving Tift’s record to 3-1 for the season.
Tift’s score improved several points over the previous match, when they suffered their first loss to Colquitt County.
Worth has one of the top four averages in the area, and Tift’s squad never breathes easy when shooting against this team.
In the prone position, Tift eased past Worth by five points, but Worth gained six points on Tift in the kneeling position. Tift’s victory came from strong standing scores as they outshot Worth in the standing position by 14 points.
“We put a lot of emphasis on standing because that is the most difficult position. Many teams are weak there,” said Coach Julie Rucker. “If we can outscore a team by ten points in standing, we can win the match.”
Worth shot a solid standing score, but they didn’t have any shooter in the 90s while Tift’s Brooke Hester and Hannah Rucker both exceeded that mark.
“Brooke and Hannah consistently give us scores in the 280’s every match, and I feel confident that they will continue to post those numbers for us,” said Rucker.
Hannah Rucker was Tift’s top shooter with a 285 while Hester posted a strong 283 to lead all Tift shooters. Shelby Gates (275) and Sarah Willis (264) finished out the top four for Tift.
“I have seen much growth in our team over the course of the season, from August through January. Right now we are searching for two shooters who can step up and consistently shoot in the mid-270’s or higher in order to be competitive at the state level,” Rucker said.
Worth’s top shooter for the evening was Spencer Tucker with a score of 281.
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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.
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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.
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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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Column: Memories of the last time
As the Tift County Blue Devils prepare to play for the Class AAAAAA state basketball championship this Saturday in Macon against Wheeler, I began to think about the last time the Devils played for a state title.
Three Devils make future plans
A trio of Tift County Blue Devil football players officially decided their futures Wednesday afternoon. Sam Douglas, Ryan Wedgeworth and Rashad Parks all inked scholarships at the Performing Arts Center, in an event emceed by their head coach, John Reid.
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