Tigers prep for Classic

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 24, 2001

FAYETTE – Jefferson County’s varsity boys and girls basketball teams will be playing the Capital City Classic Wednesday at Forest Hill High School in Jackson.

While the Lady Tigers will be making their sixth appearance in the Capital City Classic, their first-round opponent is a team they have never faced in this tournament – Lanier.

The Lady Tigers play the Lady Bulldogs at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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&uot;They’re basically a young team. They hustle and don’t give up. They give you 32 minutes of basketball,&uot; said Lady Tigers head coach Flora McKnight. &uot;They’re quick and average height.&uot;

McKnight said playing over the holidays offers the Lady Tigers a chance to learn and grow as a team.

&uot;We’ll be playing against teams that we don’t normally play,&uot; she said. &uot;We’ll be seeing different styles of offense and defense. We’ll just go out there and play basketball.&uot;

Going into the Capital City Classic, the Lady Tigers are 6-9 after getting off to a 5-2 start. McKnight said the tournament will get her team ready for the remainder of the season.

&uot;We’re going to play with more intensity, especially on defense,&uot; she said. &uot;We’ve been in all the games. We scored enough points We just haven’t been as intense on defense.&uot;

Jefferson County’s boys team faces the Lanier Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

&uot;Everyone knows that coach (Thomas) Billups has good teams year in and year out,&uot; said Tigers head coach Marcus Walton.

He said his team’s first-round opponents are very aggressive and get many of their points off turnovers.

Walton said his team will have to play at its own pace and make the game simple to have a chance to defeat the Bulldogs.

&uot;You hope that your team rises to the level of competition,&uot; he said.

Several of the top 10 boys teams in the state will be playing in this tournament, Walton said.

&uot;Any kid’s dream is playing in big games,&uot; he said. &uot;We consider this our big game because of the level of competition.&uot;