Tifton Gazette


January 31, 2014

Tift divides Lowndes contests

TIFTON — The night started out on the wrong foot for the Tift County Lady Devils. Given a technical foul at the start of the game, the Lowndes Vikettes had a chance at two free throws and possession before time had even began.

Lowndes missed both shots, but Tashia Brown quickly dropped one from behind the arc to put the Vikettes in the lead. Tift briefly had a 4-point lead after an Alexis Johnson basket and led by two after a quarter, but Lowndes would come out on top, 64-51, to drop them to 9-13.

The Devils turned back the Viking invasion, 81-54, without any struggles. They remain not just undefeated in the region, but within the state lines, carrying a 20-2 record.

The Vikettes tied the game at 7:18 in the 2nd, which carried over to a 10-2 run to start the period. Taffany Smith provided six of those points, which gave them enough of an advantage to carry through the rest of the game. She would hit two free throws in the last minute to give a 6-point halftime lead.

A big Lowndes error coming out of the gate gave the Lady Devils an easy basket to start the period. The visitors had not broken the huddle when play was resumed, which caught Staceyanna Murrell's attention. She yelled for her teammates to hustle the ball inbounds, with it winding up in the hands of Brecklyn Greene, who sunk the layup without a bit of opposition.

They closed to a point in the 3rd when Greene made it 33-32 on a 3-pointer, but even that had its bad luck. The Lady Devils were called for a foul while the ball was in the air.  Lowndes was up 50-37 going into the 4th.

Both teams played evenly in the final eight minutes. The trio of Murrell, Greene and Alexis Johnson scored 11 of their 14 points. Johnson led the team with 17. Murrell had 14 and Greene scored 9. Smith was Lowndes' leader with 22, with Zakiya Hunter adding 10 and Di'era DeLoatch contributing 12.

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