McKnight: Natchez Democrat Girls Coach of the Year.

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 8, 1999

Flora McKnight was only in her second season as head coach of the Jefferson County girls basketball team. But she knew something special was in the air.

&uot;I knew we had a lot of depth and if we stayed injury-free we could go a long way,&uot; she said. &uot;I&160;felt like we were as good as Jackson Murrah.&uot;

After winning South State, the Lady Tigers advanced to the Class 4A state semifinals before falling to Stone County 54-49.

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&uot;We were really playing well at district time, but I think the week off between South State and the state tournament really hurt us,&uot; McKnight said.

Jefferson County finished the season 26-10, becoming the first Lady Tiger team to advance to the state tournament.

For her efforts, McKnight is the 1998-99 Natchez Democrat Girls Coach of the Year.

Jefferson County defeated McComb and Hancock at South State, having to come from behind in both contests.

&uot;It never concerned me how many points we would get down, because I knew we would pick up the defense and the tempo and make a comeback,&uot; she said. &uot;Defense was our philosophy.&uot;

McKnight graduated from South Natchez in 1975. She coached at Jefferson County Middle School for four years before joining the varsity squad.

&uot;This was definitely the most exciting year I’ve ever been involved with,&uot; she said. &uot;You hear talk about what it’s like to make it to the &uot;Big House,&uot; but there’s no feeling like experiencing it.&uot;