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January 26, 2014

Valdosta sweeps rival Lowndes at home

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta girls basketball team left it all out on the floor Friday night as they pulled off a 66-50 comeback win against the Lowndes Vikettes in Region 1-AAAAAA play. While the start of the game was delayed, the crowd showed up in full force to watch both teams play.

Led by Tiaera Phillips with 20 points, the Wildcats had three players hit double digits in the win. Desinee Arnold put up 13 points, while Carolina Alexander made 16 points. For the Vikettes, team leader Di’eara DeLoatch put up 13 points, followed by Taffany Smith with 10 points.

Going into halftime, Arnold hit a half-court jumper to send the Wildcats into the half down by just five, with the Vikettes holding a 31-26 lead.

“We were up lifted by Arnold’s halftime shot before the buzzer, it gave us momentum,” VHS coach Ed Wilcox said. “We had a few adjustments to make and we did it. My girls played extremely hard tonight and I’m proud of them.”

The Wildcats were down the entire game until six minutes remained in the third quarter, when a Phillips bucket gave them a 35-33 lead. They wouldn’t trail again.

The Wildcats went on a 13-4 run and moved to a 53-45 lead with just less than five minutes remaining in the game. Alexander scored the last basket for the Wildcats as the final seconds rolled off the clock, pushing their record to 14-7. The Vikettes fell to 13-7.

“We are at a stage in our season where we must be determined to push through adversity,” Vikettes coach Brittany Ferguson said. “There are many times when strategy is tossed out the window and we must rely on heart and determination. We will continue to learn and grow, while capitalizing on our principals, defense, and rebounding.”

Both teams struggled with turnovers however, giving up close to 10 each.

“There will be nothing positive that comes from turning the ball over like we did tonight,” Ferguson said. “Some can be accredited to Valdosta’s defense, but a majority of them was bad decision making on our part. We have to value each possession.”

Said Wilcox: “I think we had fewer turnovers tonight than the first time we played, and I think we caused a lot of turnovers tonight by the way we played defense and blocking the shooting lanes. We did a good job making the baskets we needed tonight too.”

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