Tift Girls get weekend sweep

Valdosta – Coach Julie Conner and her Tift County Lady Devils have been busy.  Since falling in their opener to a scrappy Carver (Columbus) squad, the Lady Devils have put together a 6-1 record. They defeated Lee County 54-39 on Friday night in Leesburg, and continued burning bus fuel on Saturday, traveling to Valdosta High.  Tift edged the Lady Cats 62-55.

Dayana Chaney drives against Lee County. Chaney finished with 16 pts. Jessica Peters/SGSN

Dayana Chaney drives against Lee County. Chaney finished with 16 pts. Jessica Peters/SGSN

What might be even more special to Coach Conner is that her team has found a way to win without a significant portion of their offensive power. Audrey McElhaney returned to the hardwood after being sidelined with an injury for the first five games. The senior guard put up 15 points, and grabbed 5 rebounds in the win against Valdosta tonight.

Tift has found some offense in other kids who have had to step up in her absence. Tonight, that offense came from the 2/3 guard Joslyn Reyes. Reyes, a junior, finished with 16 points, and crashed for 5 boards as well. The other hot hand in the young season has been that of Dayana Chaney. Chaney is a senior guard, and has a great touch from beyond the arc. She added 11 points, and 7 rebounds against Valdosta. Chaney led Tift scorers against former region foe Lee County with 16 points on Friday night.

Tift still is missing Junior Mary Alex Anders, a guard with strong defense and smooth jumper who can get up and down the floor with speed. Anders has been sidelined with a knee injury but Conner hopes to get her back soon.

The Lady Devils continue to depend on Kaysie Harrelson in the paint. The Junior post hasn’t been an offensive powerhouse, but her defensive blocks and rebounds have been key in the early going. Harrelson finished with 7 points and 7 rebounds tonight against Valdosta.  She’s been joined by freshman Jamia Level. Assistant Coach Caleb Rice knew Level could contribute on the boards, but Level had a double-double Friday night with 10 rebounds and 10 rejections. She added another 10 boards to her season total tonight against Valdosta, and managed to find the hoop for 6 points in the win.

The Lady Devils will return to the palace on Friday night, December 9th as Turner County pays a visit. The Lady Rebels, coached by Shedrick Office, are the reigning Single A State Champions, but are 0-1 on the early season. They fell to Telfair County tonight 69-27.


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