Tifton Gazette

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December 5, 2013

Tough, busy weekend for Tift basketball

The Tift County Blue Devils and Lady Devils will be home again tonight when they take on the Westover Patriots at 7 p.m. Saturday finds them at Buford for a 3 p.m. game against the Wolves.

Westover sure to be a tough test for both squads. The Tift boys, 3-1 this season, swept the series last year while the girls had a big comeback to win in Albany after losing the earlier game in Tifton.

This is only the second time all season that both teams will play at the same site on the same day. After their openers against Thomasville, the boys have been to Atlanta for a game against Wilkinson County and had two games in Montverde Fla. against top competition. The Wilkinson game, part of the Atlanta Hawks' "Court of Dreams" saw the Devils never trail as they pulled out a 72-63 win.

Georgia Tech signee Tadric Jackson has been the team's leading scorer, but he has not been alone. They have also had good production out of D.J. Bryant, Ladarius Stewart and freshman Preston Horne.

In the meantime, the Lady Devils have stayed at home and will be eager to gain momentum after starting 2-1. They have been able to keep their offense in good balance with Alexis Johnson, Staceyanna Murrell and Brecklyn Greene.

Westover, which looks to be as powerful as always, has had their boys team make the state tournament 17 of the past 18 years. They advanced to the quarterfinals last year. While the Lady Patriots missed their first tournament since 1998, they have had solid wins so far over Albany, Lee County and Americus-Sumter.

Buford came to Tifton last December. The girls game ended up as a loss, but would be one of the turning points of the season. Days later, they went to Florida, where they began what would be a month-long winning streak. The boys beat the Wolves, a state semifinalist, by 21.

The next home game for the Devils will be Saturday Dec. 14 when they have a rare visit from Wayne County.

The day before, they will be at Thomasville for return games with the Bulldogs.

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  • public safety awards.tif

    Pictured are the honorees of Thursday night's annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet by the Tifton Elks Lodge. Shown, from left, are Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, Eddie Brown with the Tift County Emergency Medical Services, Sgt. Debbie Pyles with the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Police Department, Sgt. Bart Walker with the Omega Police Department, Officer of the Year honoree Thomas Catanzarita with the Tift County Sheriff's Office Jail Division, Deputy Jonathan Toledo with the TCSO, Brandi Conway with the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter, Georgia State Patrol Trooper Ben Taylor, Officer Brian Shockley with the Tifton Police Department and volunteer Firefighter Brian Fincher with the Chula Fire Department.

    LEOs and first responders honored at banquet

    A room full of local law enforcement and first responders were honored Thursday night by the Tifton Elks Lodge at their annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet for their service in the community.
    Prior to the awards being given out, Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, welcomed everyone, and the invocation and pledge were led by the Tift County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard.

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