Tifton Gazette

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January 7, 2014

Local cage teams continue seasons

TIFTON — We are in the thick of winter and it may be chilly outside but the hardwood has heated up. Judging by the last few games, plenty of home rooters are aware of the talents of the local bounce-ball teams, but if you have been holding out, the area quintets would be more than happy to have your support.

The Blue Devils of Tift County are 12-2. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution considered them the No. 3 team in AAAAAA in preseason. That has been slightly amended in the first poll of 2014. The Imps are now 4th, but Score Atlanta believes the Eric Holland-coached crew is No. 3. They reached the final eight in state play last season and Holland thinks they are contenders for the crown again.

Julie Conner's Angels had a tough start to their division cage openers, with defeats at Brunswick and home against Camden Saturday, but her early season preparations against top-notch talent are due to pay rewards. Both squads had another test Tuesday against the LoHi Vikings and Vikettes at the Charles Cooper Gymnasium.

The home region wars resume Friday with a twinbill against the Coffee Trojans. Tip for the Angels-Trojanettes begins at 7 p.m.

Over in Chula, Tiftarea Academy Panthers and Pantherettes hoopsters had a home game Tuesday with the Dasher-based Georgia Christian Generals and Generalettes. They were originally slated to go against Crisp Academy Monday, but the game was cancelled. It won't be rescheduled.

They have a return meeting with the Fullington fives Friday at Pinehurst. Crisp will be heading their way next Monday. After another home affair with Sherwood Christian, they finally start their region campaign.

Mike Patrick and Dan Henderson have been given a new shell this season and have been working on creating a home court advantage. Their floor is a college-sized one and Patrick's quint has been using it to run a top-notch press. Henderson's running Panthers have worked a good speed game. They were 9-4 leading into Tuesday's tussle.

Early in the second stanza of Friday's game against Pinehurst, the Pantherettes were down 23-2. By the end of the 3rd, they were up 33-31. Defense played a key role during those two periods, but they had plenty of assistance from the scoring efforts of Jarrett McWhorter and Caitlyn Albritton. They tallied 20 of the 31 points, though Pinehurst took back the lead in the 4th and held on for the 44-39 victory.

 

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