Devils aim to end playoff gauntlet with state title

Devils aim to end playoff gauntlet with state title

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - If the Tift County Blue Devils are able to earn the program's third state title Saturday night, they will certainly have earned it.

Tift Co. takes on Norcross is Saturday night's Class 7A state championship game. Norcross will be the third straight opponent ranked in the top four of the Class 7A polls. The Blue Devils beat #2 Newton on the road in state quarterfinals, then handed top-ranked McEachern their first loss in the state semifinals last week.

"We believed that we could go through there and make some noise," Tift Co. head coach Eric Holland says. "We've been playing really well, really solid on defense, knocking down our free throws, protecting the ball. You have to play some good teams."

Tift County will look to clinch the team's second title in four years Saturday at Georgia Tech. It'll be a tall task though, literally.

Norcross' lineup features two of the best players in the state of Georgia, 6'8 Rayshaun Hammonds and 6'9 Lance Thomas. Hammonds has already signed with Georgia, while Thomas will play at Louisville.

If the Blue Devils are to win Saturday night, they will have to slow down that duo.

"We'll have to play every possession with heart, technique, and fundamentals, and we'll be fine," Holland says on defending Norcross. "It's going to take a total team effort to get this win. That's what we've been all year, a total team. So I wouldn't expect anything different on Saturday night."

Tift County and Norcross are set to tip off Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. from Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion. WALB Sports will be in Atlanta with title game coverage.

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