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W.S. Neal deals McKenzie Tigers out-of-area loss

Although the Tigers have been on a roll lately, the W.S. Neal Eagles slowed McKenzie down by handing them a 53-40 loss on Monday night.

Neal got off to a quick start, and they led 12-4 at the end of the first quarter.

McKenzie fought back in the second quarter, but Neal took a 31-20 lead into halftime.

In the third period, the Eagles outscored McKenzie 14-8, which put the game out of reach.

The Eagles withstood a late McKenzie run in the fourth quarter to solidify the win.

“We’ve played well in our area, but not too well against larger schools,” Brown said. “This is just preparing us for the area tournament, and I feel good going into it.”

The Tigers picked up a number of area wins on the road over the last week.

McKenzie defeated Florala 36-29 and Pleasant Home 51-42.

However, the Tigers will be heading into the area tournament as the third team in the region due to a heartbreaking loss to Kinston in overtime.

Kinston led for most of the game until the fourth quarter, when the Tigers came back to tie the game at 46.

The Bulldogs managed to pull out a 54-51 win in the overtime period.

McKenzie got contributions from a number of players on the team, including Antonio Lett, who scored 18, Emmanuel Johnson, who had 16, and Calvin Henderson, who added 13.

“We had a chance to win the area, but losing that game in overtime hurt us,” Brown said.

The area tournament is set for the first week in February, and coin flip between Pleasant Home and Kinston will determine the location.