Hoops: Tift Girls best Bulldogs

Thomasville – After a scrimmage with region rival Valdosta a week ago, Julie Conner and her Tift squad took to the road for the first contest of the year, facing off with the Thomasville Lady Bulldogs.  Overcoming some first game jitters and turnovers, Tift would take home a 42-31 win.

Audrey McElhaney drives the lane in the first half. Shine Rankin Jr/SGSN

Audrey McElhaney drives the lane in the first half. Shine Rankin Jr/SGSN

A little anxious in the opening minutes, neither team would find the hoop until Thomasville hit a layup on the break 1:50 into the 1st frame. Tift answered, and amidst turnovers, forced and unforced for both teams,  Thomasville would end the quarter up 13-9. “We had to settle down, They (Thomasville) are a quick, aggressive defensive team, very athletic and we had to adjust to that” Conner said in a post-game interview.

Tift did settle, and the Bulldogs aggressiveness led to visits to the charity stripe. Tift would outscore Thomasville  13-4 to lead 22-17 at the half. Of the 13, 7 points came from free throws, the Lady Devils shooting 7 for 10 at the line.

Things would be more even in the third with Tift taking the quarter 9-7 to lead 31-24

as the final period began. Forced to foul as Tift ran motion and played keep away, Thomasville sent Vanity Golson to the line for much of the 4th frame. Golson would hit 4 for 6 at the line, ending any hopes for a Bulldog comeback.

Moneiisha Goldsborough would lead Tift with 14 points and 9 rebounds. . “Neisha was great in the paint, clearing rebounds and sending them home.” Conner said. Goldsborough would leave the game in the final period, cramping in her leg as time wound down. “Just a really bad cramp, but she should be good to go.” Golson would finish with 9 points, and took a huge charge that seemed to kill the Lady Bulldog momentum in the 1st half. “That charge was huge, and she stood tall.” Audrey McElhaney would contribute 6 points, and garner four steals.

Bench play was key in victory. "We got a few folks in foul trouble, but our bench came up big defensively, often against bigger girls." Conner said. Photo:Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

Bench play was key in victory. “We got a few folks in foul trouble, but our bench came up big defensively, often against bigger girls.” Conner said. Photo:Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

 

Conner also had praise for shot blocker Dail Adaway. The 5’10 Junior had four blocks in the contest. Joslyn Reyes also came in and made an impact defensively, and hit a critical 3-pointer. “Joslyn had a solid game, hitting that three and making plays when we needed her to”.

For Thomasville, Ricarsha Johnson led all scorers in the contest with 16 of the Bulldog 31. Sapphire Austin added five points, and Zoey Jackson finished with four points.

Tift moves to 1-0, and will have some time off before hosting Monroe Friday night at the Tift County Arena. Game time is 7:00PM Thomasville wont play again until next Saturday, when the Bulldogs will travel to Tifton for the second game in the series, Game time on Saturday is 7:00PM

 

 

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