TIFTON — The Tift County Lady Devils managed to work their deficit down to a single point in the 3rd quarter, but in the end it was too much Brunswick. They won, 74-55, on their home court in the semifinals of the region tournament to send Tift to the consolation game.
The Lady Devils started the 3rd quarter down by nine, 37-28, a quick basket by Staceyanna Murrell started them on a roll. A free throw by Tatianya Smith, a 3-pointer by Brecklyn Greene and a Audrey McElhaney shot later, it was a 37-36 game. Needing just one break to get over the hump, they wouldn't get it. Brianna Gipson started a 12-0 run that put them right back in a deep hole.
Alexis Johnson cut it to a five-point game early in the 4th, but a stifling press, a deep bench and plenty of foul trouble kept Brunswick on top. Four players fouled out for Tift: Murrell, Greene, Smith and McElhaney.
The Lady Devils never had a lead in the contest. They also were down by one - 7-6 - in the 1st quarter.
Johnson scored 20 to top Tift. Greene added 11 and McElhaney 10. Destiny Alston had 22 for Brunswick.
Tift will be facing Colquitt County Friday at 4:30 p.m. Lowndes was a surprise 54-52 winner over the Lady Packers earlier Thursday. Regardless of result, both teams in the consolation will be on the road for the first round of the state tournament.