Tift Boys get 3-peat, Take Vikings by 21

Moultrie – Donnie Holland, coaching the Vikings in his first year at Lowndes, may have nightmares about Tyrie Jackson. The Junior guard hit early and often, and Lowndes had no answer for Tift County, as Eric Holland’s Blue Devils went undefeated in region play.  Tift beat Valdosta on Thursday night by 31 to advance to their 6th championship game in the last 6 years.

Tyrie Jackson hits from 3-pt land. Jackson went 6 for 9 from behind the line, and finished with 30 of Tift's 68. Photo:Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

Tyrie Jackson hits from 3-pt land. Jackson went 6 for 9 from behind the line, and finished with 30 of Tift’s 68. Photo: Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

The Devils jumped out to a quick lead, behind strong shooting by Jackson. But Lowndes battled back and at the end of 1, Tift’s lead was a bucket, 10-8. Tift made some adjustments, making Jackson more available in the perimeter, and he hit for 4 3-pointers in the half, pacing the scoring with 18. Tift outscored the Viking 23-8 in the second frame, and carried a 33-16 lead to the locker room.

Lowndes would be more even in the second half, as Tift continued to shoot well, but could not gain ground on the second quarter deficit. The Devils would outscore the Viking 22-17 in the third frame, and start the 4th up 55-33. Tift reserves played the last four minutes of the contest as Tift cruised to a 69-48 win.

Jackson hit two more threes in the second half, finishing 6 for 9 from behind the line on his way to 30 points for the game high. PJ Horne added 15, and Senior Hayden Mullinax netted 7 in the game. Lowndes will host the #3 team from Region 2 on Wednesday night, hosting for the first time in several years. Tift will get the #4 seed from Region 2, and improves to 26-1. The Devils did not lose a game in Georgia this season. Athletic Director Rusty Smith said that the playoff games will be played hopefully Wednesday night in a doubleheader format.

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