Tift Boys Pound the Vikings 73-25

Tifton – Coach Eric Holland and his Blue Devil basketball team evidently didn’t forget playing at Lowndes High in a double-overtime contest earlier this season. The Devils came away with a hard-fought victory, but had to battle with Micah Johnson for much of the contest. As region play winds down, and teams prepare for the playoffs, Holland didn’t a repeat performance against the Vikings as they visited the palace on Friday night.  Entering at 18-1, with their only loss coming to Riverside of Louisiana, the Devils made sure they got the win, 73-25.

Tift would start off strong, and build from there. Outscoring Lowndes 15-5 in the first, the Devils allowed a single bucket from the Vikings, and it was contested and well beyond the three-point line. Octavious Fudge’s long-distance shot prompted a Tift timeout with 2:34 to play in the quarter, and the Vikings were quiet for the remainder of the period. Led by PJ Horne in the paint, and getting scoring from Deion White off the bench, Tift was set.

Iman Holley dunks in the first half against the Vikings. Photo:Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

Iman Holley dunks in the first half against the Vikings. Photo:Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

That lead would expand further in the 2nd period, as the Devils jumped on a 22-7 run. Micah Johnson, who did not play in regulation against the Vikings earlier this season, heated up in the frame, scoring 7 of his 13 points. The Devils would coast to a 37-13 lead as time expired for the half.

There is a “No Buckets” sign on the wall in the palace. The Blue Devils did just that in the 3rd, allowing no baskets from the floor. Lowndes had no answer, as Tift went on another 21-3 run. Leading 58-16, the officials called for a 6:00 minute 4th. Tift played the reserves for much of the period, garnering a 73-25 victory.

Tift got scoring from a variety of faces outside the usual stars. While PJ Horne and Tyrie Jackson each finished with 14, and Micah Johnson added 13, Devils fans were treated to a Rashad Bateman three-pointer and a late driving lay-up. Bateman finished with 5. Adam Hester, a reserve center, found the hoop in the post. Hayden Mullinax, known for his rebounding and defense, scored. CJ Copeland showed he could shoot from behind the line, draining a 3-pt shot with the same finesse his mother Colandra Range Copeland did with regularity in the early 90s.

Lowndes was held to just six field goals on the evening. The Viking fall to 2-3 in the region, and 7-13 overall. They will face Valdosta on Jan. 31st. Tift improves to 19-1, and will do battle with the Cats in Valdosta tonight.  Valdosta beat Fitzgerald on Friday night, taking 63-51 victory home. The Cats are 11-7 overall, and have dropped all four region contests. Tip-off is expected around 7:30PM.

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