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All hail queens of the court

After making its first appearance in the Southwest Regional in school history it would be easy to say that McKenzie girls basketball coach Cindy Lowe has planted the seed to what could be many more successful teams in the future.

Only people don't know that the seed was planted 13 years ago when Lowe took on the challenge of introducing McKenzie to girls basketball.

For 13 seasons, the Lady Tigers were the doormats and punchlines to many in south Alabama.

The doormat has been rolled up, and the punchlines are no more.

That's because that seed has blossomed into the beautiful rose that Lowe knew would come at some point in time.

The record books have been rewritten, but its just another chapter to a coach that will soon become a legend to high school girls basketball. Lowe and many teams before this one now see the bounty that has been sowed.

But there is another seed that has been planted.

When that final horn sounded inside the Mitchell Center at the University of South Alabama Monday, the seed has planted for future Lady Tiger teams to come.

The seniors on this season's club point toward two years from now, but Lowe made it perfectly clear Monday that she plans to be back in the Mitchell Center next year.

Those are the seeds of high expectations that have been planted. And as long as Lowe is at McKenzie, those seeds will bloom and blossom.

McKenzie has seen its success in football. In fact there is a photo hanging inside the Tigers gymnasium of the 1991 state championship football team.

That photo may soon have to make room for a team photo of the 2005-06 Lady Tigers, who have set the bar high for McKenzie boys and girls teams to come.

Girls basketball has never been something to talk about at the local coffee shops in Butler County. There have been the occasional conversations about Fort Dale Academy's recent success and state titles in the past 10 years, but girls basketball has not been a focal point.

Given the success of McKenzie and continued success of Fort Dale, girls basketball may grow within Butler County.

There is no question that football is king throughout the state, but it's time to take notice of the queens of the court in Butler County.

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