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McKenzie could use support from everyone

McKenzie's run to earn its first ever trip to Mobile in the Southwest Regional Tournament looked to be in question Thursday night after the Lady Tigers got off to a flat start.

McKenzie did eventually come away with a victory, but it was a lackluster performance by the Lady Tigers.

And they are the first to tell you that.

When the girls walked out of the locker room there were no smiles. In fact you would have thought they had lost the game.

That's how competitive this team is and how focused it is on going as far as they can go during this magical season.

&#8220We didn't play our game,” said McKenzie point guard Akeia Owens with a sour look on her face.

The Lady Tigers know they played poorly, and Cindy Lowe surely reminded how poor they played.

Lowe said earlier this week that from here on out it's all about having fun. After coming away with a 43-32 victory Thursday, it seems fun is the last thing on the Lady Tigers' mind.

Every day and every win continues to add a new chapter to McKenzie's basketball history book.

While that may be encouraging, this team is realizing just how far it can go in the state tournament.

The first hurdle has been cleared.

And the next hurdle begins on Monday when the Lady Tigers take on Sunshine in the first round of the Southwest Regional. Originally McKenzie was looking at facing McIntosh, which has lost just one game this season. Now, it looks like the Lady Tigers have a good chance of advancing to the regional final next Friday.

The Lady Tigers will need the support.

While McKenzie may be a small community, it has rallied around the success of the Lady Tiger basketball team. Fans packed the gymnasium last week en route to McKenzie's first area tournament championship.

But the support fell off Thursday.

Sure there were some new faces in the crowd, but there were a few that were missing, too.

Since the Butler County School Board of Education had its meeting at McKenzie School Thursday night, I was a bit disappointed to see just a couple people from the school board cheer on the Lady Tigers to victory.

While the school board is not in the athletics business, it is in the business of being champions for the children within the school system.

And athletics is part of it. It would have been refreshing to see the entire school board walk though the doors and cheer on the Lady Tigers.

McKenzie is heading down an exciting and history-making path and the kids deserve the support from the school board and everyone within the county no matter who they are.

I heard that when Greenville's football team made its march toward the state football finals, people from all over the county came to cheer the Tigers on.

It would be nice to see the same for McKenzie this Monday afternoon

in Mobile.

Kevin Taylor is sports editor of The Greenville Advocate. Call him at (334) 382-3111 ext. 122 or e-mail kevin.taylor@greenvilleadvocate.com.