Newton, South Gwinnett invade Tift County

Tyler Parker slams home two points for Tift County against Camden County.

TIFTON — Tift County’s first round state basketball opponents have been set.

The Lady Devils start play Tuesday, hosting Newton. The Blue Devils begin action Wednesday against South Gwinnett. That game will also be at home. Both games start at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $7 each night and only 500 tickets will be sold.

Should Tift’s teams win, they will have at least another round at home, potentially against the same school. East Coweta and North Paulding square off in both boys and girls brackets. Second round games are Friday and Saturday.

Region 4 did not hold a tournament this year, though South Gwinnett had to play an extra game to determine the fourth seed. The rest of the state tournament seeds were determined by regular season standings.

Newton enters at 6-10, having finished the regular season Feb. 16 with a 20-point loss to Grayson. The Lady Rams were 4-4 in region games. Despite being the fourth seed, they did lose by only two points to No. 1 Brookwood in late January.

South Gwinnett is 10-8, 2-7 against opponents from Region 4 during the regular season. The Comets made state as a No. 4 seed after defeating Brookwood on Saturday, 62-50. That snapped a seven-game-losing streak. Immediately before the losing skid, the Comets had won seven straight.

Maalik Leitch scored 23 against Brookwood. Kevon Shepherd added 19 points.

Other first round matchups:

BOYS

Class 7A

— Parkview at Camden County

— Colquitt County at Newton

— Lowndes at Grayson

Class 6A

— Tucker at Valdosta

Class 5A

— Coffee at Dutchtown

Class 2A

— Westside (Augusta) at Fitzgerald

— Putnam County at Thomasville

— Cook at Butler (Augusta)

— Berrien at Lucy Laney

Class A public

— Clinch County at Portal

— Lanier County at Metter

— Claxton at Turner County

— Emanuel County Institute at Irwin County

GIRLS

Class 7A

— Parkview at Colquitt County

— Lowndes at Grayson

— Camden County at Brookwood

Class 6A

— Valdosta at Lovejoy

Class 5A

— Union Grove at Coffee

Class 2A

— Lucy Laney at Thomasville

— Fitzgerald at T.W. Josey

— Berrien at Butler (Augusta)

Class A public

— Brooks County at Claxton

— Jenkins County at Clinch County

— Screven County at Turner County

Screven’s return to state is remarkable, considering where the Lady Gamecocks were three years ago. In December 2017, Screven snapped a 97-game losing streak.

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