Tift Girls use Post Game, Stay Undefeated

Tifton – Playing in the first of two region contests this weekend, the Tift County Lady Devils played host to a Lowndes squad for the second of a home/home series at the palace.  Coach Julie Conner’s Devils entered with a 15-3 record, including a 3-0 region record. Conner hoped to extend the region streak, but remembered the battle her team had to come back and win in Valdosta earlier this season.  Lowndes, struggling in a rebuilding year mixed with injuries, is 1-3 in region play, but has proven to be present in tight games this year.

Tift would start with a 14-3 run, fueled by Audrey McElhaney, Sky Moore, and a huge Vanity Golson three-pointer.  They would finish the quarter up 16-6, but with McElhaney struggling with fouls on the defensive side of the ball. Lowndes would take advantage of her absence in the second frame, outscoring the Lady Devils 21-15 to trail by just two baskets, 31-27 at the break. Lowndes got a huge boost during the run from Zakiya Hunter. The guard scored 7 of her 15 in the frame.

Vanity Golson (Tift 11) scores over Lowndes defenders. Golson provided a lift in the third frame, and finished with 13 Points. Photo: Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

Vanity Golson (Tift 11) scores over Lowndes defenders. Golson provided a lift in the third frame, and finished with 13 Points. Photo: Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

In the third, Golson filled the gap for the sitting McElhaney, scoring 6 of the team’s 18 in the frame. Dail Adaway also provided need scoring, dialing long distance in the period. The Lady Devils would push the lead back to ten, leading 49-39 as the final period was set to start.

Conner would return to her one-two punch in the frame, using McElhaney on cutting drives for baskets, and when Lowndes went to adjust, McElhaney and company used good dishes to senior center Moneisha Goldsborough for easy post baskets. The Vikettes could not pierce the lead, and would fall by 11, 66-55.

Leading Tift County, Goldsborough finished with 22, Golson with 13, McElhaney had 12 points in what amounted to two quarters of play, Adaway netted 8 points, and Joslyn Reyes finished with 6 points. For Lowndes in the losing effort, Taffany Smith had the team-high with 17 points, Hunter’s 15, and Haley Fowler added 11.

Tift County improves to 15-4, and 4-0 in the region standings. The Lady Devils will face off with the Valdosta Lady cats in Valdosta tonight. Game time is 6PM. Lowndes falls 9-11 (1-4), but gets a week to prepare for their “Winnersville Classic” on the hardwood, as they face Valdosta on January 31st.

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