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McKenzie falls to Headland

58-20

By Griffin Pritchard

First year coach James Brown knew this season was going to be a character developing one. Tuesday night his McKenzie Tiger basketball team got theirs tested early and often when they stepped on the court against 4A Headland.

McKenzie was geared up to begin their season against J.F. Shields on Nov. 30, but due to Brantley's trot through the first two rounds of the playoffs, they had to drop out of the New Brockton Thanksgiving Tournament. With two slots opened up, McKenzie received the invitation, which was accepted.

"We weren't playing a cupcake team," Brown said.

The Rams posted a 58-20 victory to knock McKenzie out of the tournament.

"Headland ran a 1-2-1 diamond trap defense that we didn't deal with really well," said Brown. "It's something we didn't spend any time on. I didn't have the kids prepared for this."

Brown also attributes his team's poor performance to inconsistent attendance at practices.

"I started practice two weeks before football was over," Brown said. "But it was just a handful of kids, eight. After football ended we jumped up to 24 kids, but we are now down to 20."

Headland played 11 kids during the game with 10 of them posting scores.

But, with every negative comes a positive. Rhett Lowe scored 13 points in the second half, to bring the Tigers to 20 points.

"Rhett is going to be our guys this year," said Brown. "We've just got to get them working together."

The Tigers will be back in action on Nov. 30 when they travel to Beatrice and face J.F. Shields. From there, the Tigers will travel to Georgiana and face the Panthers on Dec. 2.

Tipoff for the games are set at 5 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively with all three squads playing, girls, b-team and varsity.