Members of the community came together in a group effort to recognize the Coahoma Community College women’s basketball team for the 2020-21 season with a barbecue on campus outside of the Pinnacle Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Tigers were the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament runners-up.
Eugene Taylor, who helped organize the event, said head coach Stephanie Murphy and assistant coach Isaiah Butler played a big role in the team’s success.
“What we’re doing is to honor the ladies’ basketball team for such a wonderful season, a spectacular season,” Taylor said. “They gave us something to do during the spring. We had basketball games to watch. The coaching staff did a wonderful job. They’ve come a long way. I told the coach the loss they had wasn’t the end of anything. It’s the beginning.
“It’s just something to show our appreciation, show the community’s appreciation.”
Taylor has been a part of Coahoma Early College High School for many years and drove the bus for the CCC cheerleaders and track team.
The Coahoma athletic programs have not been this successful in many years.
Taylor said Murphy, who completed her third season with CCC, was the difference in 2020-21.
“It’s the coach,” Taylor said. “We’ve had good coaches before, but we had the right coach for the right time and she got the right players.”
Taylor said he enjoyed every game he watched, but he knew this team was special when they won the home playoff game against Southwest Mississippi Community College 67-65. The win put the Lady Tigers in the final four at Mississippi College in Clinton.
“We started off pretty good,” said Taylor of the game against SMCC. “Then they fought back and got back in the game, but the team never lost its composure. They stayed with their plan and they won the ballgame.
“Other teams we’ve had, they’ve gotten up like that and when they get down, they fall apart. But this team stayed together.”
Taylor is looking forward more success in the future.
“The whole program, the whole school is on the upswing,” he said.