Devils defeat Salmen in Prep Classic

WESTWEGO, (La.) — Points were at a premium at the fifth annual Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic Friday, as no. 2 AAAAAA ranked Tift County battled 2014 4A quarterfinalist Salmen (La.) and emerged with a hard fought 38-37 victory at the Alario Center.

After the Spartans (14-4) took a 35-34 lead at the 5:42 mark of the final period, the Devils (16-1) came down and got a Micah Johnson bucket at the midway point of the final frame. Alex Taylor would miss a jumper from near the three point line at the buzzer for the Spartans.

Tyrie Jackson drives in for a layup during the 4th quarter. Photo: Erin Parker/SGSN

Tift led for the majority of the first quarter behind two familiar names — Preston Horne and Tyrie Jackson. The duo scored all eight points in the quarter, but the Devils trailed 10-8 at the end of the period. Salmen led by as many as five points in the quarter and had a 15-14 lead with 4:04 remaining in the half. The Devils would seize control of the game after a Horne dunk and Quay Green added a hoop shortly after a Jackson trey as Tift would take a 21-17 lead into the locker room.

The Devils’ biggest lead would occur 2:26 into the third, when Tift led 26-19 after another Horne basket and Tift would continue to lead until the final four seconds of the quarter, when Salmen’s Corey Vinson sank a three pointer after a Blue Devil turnover with under 30 seconds remaining in the period.

In the fourth period, Tift would take a 32-30 lead on a Horne basket before Taylor hit a three for the Spartans to put Salmen up by one. Jackson would be fouled on Tift’s next possession and would hit a pair of free throws to give the Devils a one point lead with six minutes to play. Jordan McNeil would put Salmen back ahead on a layup before Johnson’s layup with 4:04 left in the game. Horne added another basket with 2:49 remaining and the Spartans closed to gap to one on a Vinson basket. Tift would hold the ball for the next 2:30, but turned the ball over with 15 seconds left in the game. Salmen would drive down the floor and take a timeout with 6.8 remaining, setting up the final play for Taylor.

Tift was 7-of-8 from the free throw line, while Salmen was a perfect 5-for-5. In an extremely physical game, both teams were only whistled for eight fouls each. Horne had 16 and Jackson added 13 in the win, while Vinson had nine and McNeil added eight for Salmen.

Tift will play reigning Louisiana 4A champion Landry-Walker Saturday at 2p.m. central time in the fifth place game.

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