McKenzie sets for SEAC Tourney, caged by Goshen

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 2004

This weekend, the McKenzie Tigers will join Highland Home, Brantley and Goshen to compete in the Southeast Alabama Conference Tournament.

"I don't know the exact number of teams that we've had in the tournament," said Johnny Mitchell, first year coach of the Flying Squadron. "I do know that during the 80's there were eight or nine teams competing."

This year's field is down to four teams, but it will be both the varsity and the girl's squads competing from each school.

The event will be a single elimination tournament with the girls kicking things off on Thursday.

The guys will be in action on Friday and then the championship games will be Saturday at 6:30 and 8 p.m.

The tournament will be played at Highland Home School with a $5 admission.

Before the Tigers jump into their second tournament of the season, they had the opportunity to sample the competition when they traveled to Goshen Monday night.

The result however, had the Tigers on the lower side of the scoreboard. Goshen slugged out a 46-39 win, while the Lady Tigers pulled out a 52-41 victory.

In the varsity game, the Eagles had the opportunity to put the nail in the coffin early, but were unable to capitalize and allowed McKenzie to keep things close.

Both teams traded baskets with Goshen beginning to pull away at the end of the second period.

The Tigers went into the locker room trailing 23-12.

"We started slow both halves," said Harold Jones, coach of the Goshen Eagles. "Missed opportunities have really been our downfall so far. There were too many shots missed from the free throw line, and way too many second shots for the other team. We have to work on that."

McKenzie actually cut the lead Eagle lead to eight points at the end of the third period, 38-30.

But, the deficit was too much for the Tigers to overcome as Goshen pulled engineered enough offense to keep their heads above water in the fourth quarter. The final score was 46-39.

The girl's game was a different story.

Cindy Lowe and her Lady Tigers jumped out to a 28-8 halftime lead and never looked back in the second half. McKenzie posted the 52-41 victory.

"Slow starts," head coach Fred Lowery said. "That's plagued us so far this season. We still miss a lot of free throws. I saw some good things from our team, but we have a lot that we need to work on. I hope we can take some of the things we learned from this game and use them later in the season."

Both squads will be back in action this weekend.

McKenzie will play on Thursday and then Tigers will be in action on Friday.

The SEAC Tournament championships will be played on Saturday.

Additional reporting was done by Andy Brown/BNI Newswire.