Tifton Gazette


December 14, 2013

Devils get two wins from Wayne

TIFTON — There were times that Saturday night's games between the Tift County Blue Devils and Wayne County Yellow Jackets resembled a basketball video game. Shots falling everywhere, lots of high flying, plenty of steals and blocks.

From Wayne's perspective, it was a game set on extra hard as they were the victims of all the highlight reel material. They were blown out in each contest as the Devils picked up two more wins.

A boys contest that ended 75-45 in Tift's favor was momentarily tied at 4 in the opening minutes, but that was the end of easy times for the Yellow Jackets.

Even halftime was difficult for them. Down 44-20 at the break, they went to back to their locker room for discussions that ended up going too long; they were given a technical foul for delay of game when they did not immediately appear for the start of the 2nd half.

At times, it seemed as if the Blue Devils could score at will. There were multiple slam dunks in the contest, with Tadric Jackson, Ali Vaughn and Preston Horne each getting a chance to touch the rim. When Jackson scored his 23rd point at 5:30 in the 3rd period, Wayne only had 20. He rested the entire final period, as did the rest of the starting five.

With the Devils up by 41 after the 3rd, the final eight minutes became the final six because of the mercy rule.

Other than Jackson's 23, Vaughn had 14 and Horne scored 11. The Jackets were led by Krenwill Sanders' 23.

Things were off to a good start quickly for the Lady Devils, too. At the end of a quarter, Staceyanna Murrell alone had as much as the opposition and they led, 18-9.

The Lady Jackets were only outscored by 2 in the 2nd, but a tough defense became too much in the 3rd as the home squad broke completely free. Head coach Julie Conner was able to give everyone plenty of playing time in the 4th as they cruised, 65-38.

After her big opening period, Murrell tacked on 8 more points to finish with 17. Alexis Johnson scored 13. Dail Adaway had her first points from her return from a knee injury. She hit a 3 in the 1st quarter and added another basket in the 3rd. Most of Wayne County's scoring belonged to Tania Wood, who had over half of their points with 21.

The result was a welcome relief for the Lady Devils following Friday night's 37-35 nail-biter win against the Thomasville Bulldogs.

In an extremely slow-moving game, Tift was up by a point, 13-12, at halftime. The Lady 'Dogs surged to what appeared a huge lead, 25-19, after 3 quarters, but Tift began finding their rhythm in the 4th.

Season points leader Johnson, who had been held to 6 thus far, scored 11. She and Tatianya Smith each had big 3-pointers in the frame. Thomasville didn't help their own matters, hitting only 2 of 6 free throw attempts.

Johnson finished with 17. Dorian Jordan had 6.

Though Thomasville had all of its lineup back after football season, the result was quite similar to the first game the teams played.

The Blue Devils took a 30-15 lead into the half and kept up the pace for the 62-41 win. Leading scorers were Jackson (21), D.J. Bryant (10) and Horne (10).

Next week sees the teams go their separate ways.

There will two games in Tifton Friday, but only one involving a local school. At 6 p.m., Thomasville's boys take on Jenkins High of Savannah. That game will be followed by the Blue Devils and the Savannah Blue Jackets. Savannah has been runners-up in the state tournament each of the past two years.

The Lady Devils play at Bartram Trail, Fla., Friday, followed by a Saturday game at Ribault, Fla.

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