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The Sparkman Senators needed extra time on the court, but used the time well to win the 2021 N2HOOPS Invitational held at Bob Jones High. The Senators outlasted Mae Jemison in overtime to win the annual Thanksgiving time boy’s basketball tournament. Photo Contributed

Sparkman Needs Overtime To Claim N2HOOPS Tournament Championship

MADISON- An extra playing period was placed on the scoreboard in the finals to determine the champions of the 2021 N2HOOPS Invitational held at Bob Jones High. In the end, the better team stepped forward as Sparkman overcame an eight-point second half deficit and defeated Mae Jemison 65-56 in overtime to claim the annual tournament’s championship trophy.

“We were slow reacting early on in the game and finally made the plays we needed due to our defense with several steals and good stops, which fed our offense to some easy buckets, plus we began to hit some shots that did not fall earlier in the game,” said Jamie Coggins head coach of Sparkman.

The Senators (7-1) had a most difficult bracket to play in and they ran through their opponents on their way to the finals. Sparkman defeated Austin 79-57, Lee 62-48 and James Clemens 68-58 to advance to the tourney climatic game. In the title matchup with Mae Jemison, Josh Price scored 17 points, pulled 5 rebounds and had 5 assists to lead the squad. He was three of three from 3-point land and was eight of eight at the free throw line. Senior Calen Lightford scored 10 points with 9 assists while Landon Jacobs (Sr.) had 8 points with 4 rebounds and junior Karmelo Montgomery’s 8 points.

“Our bench stepped up and came through for us in the title game scoring 19 points on the evening,” added Coggins.

Sparkman fought hard, dug deep and showed its true playing character coming from behind against a very good Mae Jemison team. The fourth quarter surge was keyed when Lightford hit a four-point play giving the Senators the lead. The squad from Harvest took a three-point lead into the final seconds of regulation only to see Mae Jemison hit a three pointer to send the game into overtime.

For Lightford, the 5-11, 160-pound senior became just the third player under Coggins’ tenure at Sparkman to reach the 1,000-point club within the program. He reached the plateau with 17 points against Lee in round two. Against James Clemens, Lightford popped in a career-tying 31 points hitting on eight of 10 three-point shots.

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