Tift uses 23 point 4th, bests Coffee 65-50

Doulglas – No love lost. That might be the best way to describe the contest between former region rivals Coffee and Tift County on Friday night at Coffee High. Dr. Eric Holland brought his undefeated Devils to town for a non-region matchup, and after some fireworks, left with a big win.

PJ Horne slams it home in the 1st Quarter. Horne finished with 14. Photo: Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

PJ Horne slams it home in the 1st Quarter. Horne finished with 14. Photo: Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

Neither team could get much offense early, with Tift getting a lift from Tyrie Jackson. Jackson hit two 3-pointers in the first frame as the Devils slowly heated up on a 15-8 run to end the first frame. Coffee would draw close though, in the second period. Cutting the lead to three with 4:13 to play, the Trojans looked to make a tight contest. Holland took timeout to settle his squad, and changed his attack to lead 29-21 at the break.  PJ Horne provided 5 points in the frame from the paint, leading the charge.

In the third frame, the Trojans seemed to be flat. Mixed in with a strong Tift defensive presence, Coffee would not score until they converted a field goal with 3:39 to play in the quarter. Tift would enjoy a 7-2 run over the first 4:21. Jackson would dial long distance again, hitting a three and slashing the Trojan defense in the paint to score 7 points in the frame.

Leading 42-31 as the final frame started, the Devils would survive a foul-filled period to outscore the Trojans 23-19 for a 65-50 victory. An amazing contradiction to the girl’s contest, the referees called fouls leading to 27 free throws in the final period. Tift shot 72% from the stripe (13 for 18)in the stretch.

Adam Hester found his way to the hoop in the third frame, netting 4 points. Photo: Shine Rankin  Jr. /SGSN

Adam Hester found his way to the hoop in the third frame, netting 4 points. Photo: Shine Rankin Jr. /SGSN

Jackson would lead all scorers with 24 points, including 5 3-pointers. PJ Horne finished with 14, and Micah Johnson found the basket for 9 points. There were two different technical fouls called against Coffee closing minutes. Johnson was sent to the line after a fragrant foul, and Tyree Paulk couldn’t control his mouth after being called for a foul a few moments later, resulting in four shots for Jackson plus the ball out of bounds. Coffee was led by Anthony Fussell. Fussell, a Senior shooting guard/forward, hit for 11 points, Ken Walker added 9 points, and Trey Bryant finished with 7 points.

Coffee falls to 5-3 (2-2 in region), and will take some time off before playing in Ashburn against the Green Wave of  Terrell County as part of the Ronalda Pierce Hoopfest. Gametime is set for 5:00Pm on Dec. 26th at the Turner County Civic Center.

Tift improves to 10-0 and will travel to play in Philips Arena on Tuesday as a pre-game for the Hawks contest that night. The Devils will face neighboring Irwin County at 2:30PM. Tickets are still available through the Hawks, and all tickets include the high school and Hawks contests. Irwin faced Cook tonight as part of the McDonald’s Pre-Christmas Tourney in Adel, falling 64-60. They’ll face Echols County at 4:30PM in Adel.

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