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Area tourneys set

By virtue of its first place finish in Class 1A, Area 3, the McKenzie Tigers will host this year’s area tournament.

Only not at McKenzie High School.

Regulations of the Alabama High School Athletic Association requires that a high school hosting an area tournament have a gymnasium at least 84-foot in length. McKenzie head coach Miles Brown said the Tigers’ gym comes up about 10 feet short.

Therefore, the Area 3 tournament will be played in neighboring Georgiana at the Butler County Magnet School on Feb. 5 and Feb. 8.

Brown said he’s happy his players will have the chance to play in a gymnasium like the one at the county’s newest school, but he hates having to play away from McKenzie.

“I know rules are rules,” he said. “But my kids shouldn’t be punished because they play in a gym that was built in the 1970s. They can’t help where they play. It’s great for us because we won the area, but the whole purpose of winning the area is so you can have home-court advantage. We’re not going to have that. It’s going to be played in a neutral setting where everyone is equal.”

McKenzie last hosted an area tournament in 2006 when the Lady Tigers won the area, but the rule requiring high school basketball courts to meet specific requirements was changed after that, said Brown.

The Tigers capped off an 8-5 season by beating Kinston on Monday night, 63-60, after stealing a pair of inbounds passes to seal the victory.

“It was the first lead we’d had during the entire game,” said Brown.

Cliff Pugh led the Tigers with 24 points, while Emmanuel Johnson scored 12 to help lead McKenzie. Armond Ball and Calvin Henderson each scored eight apiece for the Tigers, which tied with Pleasant Home for wins in the area (4), but claimed the tiebreaker because of its two wins over Kinston this year.

McKenzie will play Florala at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night. A win there, and the Tigers will play the winner of the Kinston-Pleasant Home game, which will be played at 6 p.m. Friday.

The McKenzie Lady Tigers will be traveling to play in Florala for the Class 1A, Area 3 girls tournament. McKenzie plays Florala on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Greenville High School: GHS boys team will host the Class 5A, Area 4 tournament starting on Feb. 5 as Monroe County plays Wilcox-Central at 6 p.m. GHS will play the winner at 6 p.m. on Monday at 6 p.m.

Wilcox-Central hosts the girls tourney in Camden. Monroe plays Greenville on Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. The winner plays Wilcox at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6.

Butler County Magnet School: J.F. Shields will host the Class 1A, Area 2 tournament in Beatrice for both boys and girls.

In the boys tourney, BCMS will play J.U. Blacksher on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The winner will play J.F. Shields at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 8.

In the girls tourney, BCMS will play J.U. Blacksher on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. The winner plays Shields on Monday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.