Tifton Gazette

Local Sports

February 27, 2013

Lady Warriors subdue Tift County

TIFTON — On the cusp of their first semifinal since 1992, the Tift County Lady Devils met tough customers with the invaders from North Cobb, ending their season on the wrong half of a 55-30 score. The gymnasium filled early, fans packing both stands and railings 30 minutes before tipoff.

The news was not any better in the boys game, as the No. 2-ranked North Cobb Warriors ended the season for the season for the homestanding and top-ranked Tift County Blue Devils, 68-63. That game story was not ready at presstime, so check Friday’s edition of the Gazette for the print version, and check www.tiftongazette.com today for the online version.

In the girls game, both squads were plagued in the first quarter with nervousness. After Staceyanna Murrell put the Lady Devils on the board 90 seconds into the game, it would be another four minutes before they would score again. North Cobb had their own slow start. A pair of free throws by Amber Reeves would tie the game eight seconds after Murrell's bucket, but it would take four minutes before they would get their first basket. At this point, their lead was 6-2 and they would hold on to it for the remainder of the period as they began to settle into a rhythm. Tift cut it to 9-6, but the North Cobb Lady Warriors struck for a 9-0 run and had the advantage at the end of the quarter, 18-6.

Brecklyn Greene broke the ice two minutes into the second with a three-pointer to make it 18-9. This sparked the home team and they settled into their offense, fending off a press defense. Dorian Jordan cut the gap two seven, 22-15 at 1:41, but that would be the remainder of their offense. North Cobb could not do much better, only scoring a single free throw with six tenths on the clock. They had the halftime lead, 23-15.

It seemed like the Lady Devils would make the third quarter theirs. They started on the right foot when Jordan blocked a shot on North Cobb's first possession. Their opponents soon collected themselves, though, and quickly pushed the lead back up to 10 on a trey. Tift's shots refused to fall while the Lady Warriors kept a steady hand. Heading into the final period, they had a lead of 13, 38-25 and two Lady Devils — Jordan and Alexis Johnson — were saddled with four fouls.

The bad luck continued in the fourth. Reeves stole the inbounds pass to lead off the quarter and hit a layup. Tift would be unable to score until Brakia Bateman nailed a trey three minutes had elapsed and North Cobb had scored 13 straight points in a streak that started in the third. Johnson fouled out late in the period and Conner's charges fell, 55-30. They end their season 23-7.

Johnson's eight paced the Lady Devils. Murrell finished with six and Greene five. North Cobb was led by Kyrie' Chandler's 16 and Reeves' 13. They will play North Gwinnett in Atlanta Saturday in the semis. North Gwinnett defeated Alpharetta Friday, 55-41.

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