Lady Patriota best James Clemens again to win Area 8 crown
MADISON – The Bob Jones Lady Patriots (28-3) used a fourth-quarter surge to pull away from rival James Clemens 51-33 in the 7A Area 8 Championship game on Wednesday at home.
A run of 20-straight points by Bob Jones that started late in the third quarter and deep into the final period buried the Lady Jets (18-9) who had stayed right with the Lady Patriots all the way before that.
Bob Jones was powered by a court full of standouts like senior Alana Obianozie with 16 points.
“I believe in our team, and I believe in us,” Obianozie said.
“We have been here; this is our third time being here. And this time we are going to finish.”
The Lady Patriots also had important contributions from Janiyah Bone and Jae Smith with nine points each.
One player who came up clutch for Bob Jones when the game was tied up was the senior Zamyra Goode, who hit a pair of important 3-point baskets in crunch time.
“It’s nothing but preparation,” Goode said.
“We work on this in practice. We get a lot of shots up. Coach drills it into us to focus on our shot like we are going to need these going into regionals and even state.”
James Clemens turned to its freshman Deyon Smith who tallied 10 points while the Lady Jets senior Jazmin Grigsby fought through an injured knee to score seven in the championship clash.
This game was back and forth for the majority of the first three quarters.
The road Lady Jets brought a competitive fire that appeared to match wills with Bob Jones as the schools were tied at 7-7.
JC’s Deyon Smith hit a field goal near the buzzer to make it 13-11 Lady Patriots after one-quarter of action.
The game remained razor-thin into the second quarter as the Lady Jet’s Serenity Pride scored four points in the paint around the 7:03 mark to push James Clemens into the lead at 15-14.
The teams went back and forth tying the game and taking the lead until Deyon Smith drilled a 3-ball to knot the contest at 19-19 with just over a minute before halftime.
Bob Jones was able to break the tie thanks to a big 3-point swish by the junior Aaliyah Troupe at the top of the key with 6.3 on the clock to hand the Lady Patriots a 22-19 edge at the midway break.
As the game advanced into the third quarter, the bitter rivals continued to battle in a close affair.
With 1:50 remaining in the third, Grigsby scored a 2-point shot to tie the game at 30-30.
That would be final moment of the game that James Clemens was in a position to win.
With it deadlocked at 30-30, Goode got her hands on the basketball and she proceeded to start the stunning 20-point run by Bob Jones with her gym-rattling 3-point bomb of a shot that made the fans explode with excitement.
“I think the energy from the bench, like they don’t get enough love,” Goode said.
“They cheered us on, they encouraged us and I think that’s what really helped us knock down those shots. Your teammates, the coaches are trusting in you and they have got that energy and I think everybody on the court making the right plays, the smart plays. I think that helped us get it done at the end.”
The 20-point Bob Jones blitz was not just a one-girl performance either, it was a clinic of teamwork by the Lady Patriots as they played sound defense that led to offensive chances and scoring from various players.
The run featured free throws and a 3-pointer by Bone, field goals by Obianozie, along with 3-pointers by Goode and Jae Smith.
This sequence of play in the early part of the fourth quarter was the definition of a team as James Clemens faded down the stretch.
“Hats off to James Clemens. They played hard, they played together,” Bob Jones head coach Jazmine Carr said.
“But I’m really proud of my team, especially the way they responded in the second half.”
Both Bob Jones and James Clemens move on to the regionals at Wallace State in Hanceville next week.
The matchups have yet to be announced.