Tift Uses Big 3rd to Defeat Fitzgerald

Tifton –  The Tift County Lady Devils have been busy. Four Games in five days is a lot of work.  Looking forward to the Thanksgiving break, Tift (4-0) hoped to get a win before taking almost two weeks off. They welcomed the Fitzgerald Lady Hurricanes to Tift County High School in the closing contest of the Zaxby’s Thanksgiving Classic.

Fitzgerald came to play, but both teams struggled in the opening minutes of the contest. Fitzgerald would score the first point, hitting a free throw with 4:45 to play in the frame.  That lead would build to six points before Tift came alive. The Lady Devils scored eight unanswered points, going on a 3:08 run to end the quarter up two.

Joslyen Reyes ( right) shoots from 7 feet out. Reyes scored five second half points. Photo: Jessica Peters/SGSN

Joslyen Reyes ( right) shoots from 7 feet out. Reyes scored five second half points. Photo: Jessica Peters/SGSN

The 2nd period would be much like the first, with both teams playing fairly even, tying scores in the frame at 13 a piece, and the Lady Devils clinging to that two point lead at the break, 21-19.

Apparently, Coach Julie Conner and her staff made some adjustments in the 3rd frame, outscoring the Lady Canes 19-9 to lead 40-28. Much of the scoring was sparked by Sophomore point guard Audrey McElhaney.  Driving the lane, she tallied seven of her eleven points in the period. The trend would continue in the 4th, with Tift closing the door to win 58-39.

The Lady Devils would have three players in double figures on the evening. Vanity Golson would lead all scorers with 14 points, McElhaney finished with 11 points, and Sky Moore eclipsed double digits for the first time this season with 10 points. Other Devils who did a good job offensively included Joslyn Reyes with  seven points,  and Moneisha Goldsborough, who added 6 points.  McElhaney found herself in foul trouble in the 3rd frame, and I believe her total would have been higher.

For the Lady Hurricanes, Kirsha Crook, a guard, led with 10 points, Brianna Wormley added eight points, and T’Kashza King would finish with seven points.

“We tried some different things defensively in the 1st half, and it had us a little out of rhythym. We had to get back to basics defensively, and that settled us down.” Conner said after the game.

Joslyn Reyes, Dayana Chaney, Kasey Harrelson and Frankiesha Hill all saw good minutes in the game, as McElhaney and Moneisha Goldsborough struggled at times with fouls.

Tift moves to 5-0, and will return to the hardwood on Dec. 5th, traveling to Monroe for a rematch. Tift won the first contest 41-36. Game time is 6:00 at Monroe High. Fitzgerald  will host Irwin County on Friday night, according to their schedule. It is unknown if Irwin is holding their basketball schedule until football ends. Game time in Fitzgerald is 6:00PM.

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