TIFTON — Earlier this week, Tift County Lady Devils basketball coach Julie Conner said that anything could happen in the state tournament.
At that time she was previewing the game for her No. 4-seeded team, one that held a record of 12-16, against the 22-4 Westlake Lady Lions, in a game that was to be played at Westlake. It probably would not be unfair to say that Tift was a bit of an underdog.
Come Friday evening, the underdog was the one with the biggest bite, as they defeated Westlake, 59-58. The winning margin came courtesy of a last second shot by Alexis Johnson, Conner said.
Conner said Westlake took a 58-57 lead with 11 seconds left and facing a strong press, the Lady Devils came right back down the floor when Johnson connected.
She said her team had a 29-26 halftime advantage and were up as many as 10 points during the game. A key to their early success was bottling Anriel Howard. Conner said she scored 19 overall, but was held to only four in the 1st half.
Johnson scored 18, but top scoring honors went to Brecklyn Greene, who had 20. Audrey McElhaney had 9 points, Staceyanna Murrell had 8 and two each from Dail Adaway and Moneisha Goldsborough rounded out the scoring.
"It was by far our best game as a team," said Conner. "We're jumping up and down."
Tift's next game is tentatively set to be Monday and will be against the winner of the Luella-Marietta contest. No matter which of those teams wins, the Lady Devils will again be on the road.