Tigers lose close contest

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 17, 2004

Every time McKenzie School narrowed the gap against Florala Thursday night, the visiting Wildcats sank a crucial basket to regain the momentum. In the end, FHS pulled out a key Class 1A, Area 2 victory, 81n73.

"It's a big win for us," FHS Head Coach Brent Zessin said. "It secured at least third seed in the area tournament. That's very important."

Sophomore Point Guard Xavier Jones scored 21 points to lead the Wildcats (13n6, 4n2). Junior Guard Tristan Matthews added 17 points, while Junior Point Guard Victor Hobdy chipped in with 12 points.

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"We didn't play very well, but it's a win," Zessin added. "We were flat. McKenzie's a good team. Russell Davison is the best player in our area."

Senior Point Guard Russell Davison led the Tigers (2n10, 0n6) with a gamenhigh 25 points, included three baskets from beyond the ach. Senior Center Jordan Lowe added 16 points, while leading McKenzie's defense with seven rebounds and five blocked shots. Junior David Davison also finished in double figures with 11 points and eight rebounds.

"We played fairly well and hard," MHS Head Coach Scott Curd said. "Give credit to Florala. I thought we were better prepared. It seems like when they needed a shot they got it."

Florala led 15n10 at the end of the first quarter, but the Tigers cut the Wildcats' lead to 38n34 at halftime. The play of McKenzie's bench players was crucial in keeping the home team in the game after several starters found themselves in foul trouble early.

"I'm proud of all the guys," Curd said. "We got into foul trouble early. James Ball, Satrick Rudolph and Jerell Adams came of the bench in the second quarter and played well, keeping us in the game. Jordan Lowe, Rhett Lowe, David Davison Chippy McPherson also played really well. Russell is just Russell."

McKenzie with host area rival J.F. Shields at 4:30 on Jan. 20. The junior varsity will get the evening started followed by the varsity girls and the varsity boys.