Bob Jones tops cross-city rival James Clemens to win Class 7A Area 8 tournamant
Both teams gear up for regionals next week
By CALEB ODOM
MADISON — The 7A Area 8 Championship was all about defense as Bob Jones handled James Clemens 52-14 at the Lady Patriots’ house Thursday night.
The Jets were no match for the efforts of the Bob Jones scoring tandem of Janiyah Bone who collected 14 and Jae Smith’s 13 points.
James Clemens counted on a gritty performance from 8th grader Deyon Smith, whose 8-point night exhibited determination despite the mostly stifled offensive showing for the Jets.
“We’ve seen them already twice. So, playing in this championship game on our home court meant a lot to us. So, I’m really proud of the effort that we showed, especially on defense,” Bob Jones head coach Jazmine Carr said.
The Lady Patriots will next face Area 5 runner up Vestavia Hills on Thursday, Feb. 16 in the Northwest regional tournament at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville.
Hoover High School’s 55-27 victory over Vestavia Hills on Thursday night, to become Area 5 Champions, slots the Lady Bucs against James Clemens on Feb. 16.
Game times for both matchups have yet to be designated but will either be at 9:00 a.m. or Noon on that Thursday.
Before all the talk of Hoover and Vestavia Hills began, there was a game that had to be decided at Bob Jones.
The Lady Patriots wasted no time lighting up the scoreboard in the first quarter, as they jumped out to a 9-2 lead before the Jets could even take a breath.
Carr’s defensive gameplan for Bob Jones worked beautifully as her team swarmed the ball and capitalized with points after taking it away from James Clemens.
“Our defense really showed up for us. Creating turnovers and scoring in transition,” Carr said.
The ball darted from Jordyn Fields to Zamyra Goode to Jae Smith to Janiyah Bone who drained basket after basket.
“Well, we did a lot of shooting during warmups and all day so I just shot when I was open and kept driving to score,” Bone said.
James Clemens was falling behind rapidly while so many of the Jets shot attempts were rattling harmlessly in and out.
“We just couldn’t get anything to fall,” Jets head coach Monica Maxwell said.
“I think it was a mixture of nerves and being anxious. It’s a lot.”
By halftime, the Lady Patriots were rolling 28-12.
Bob Jones kept the pressure on James Clemens in the third quarter, when Bone hit back to back 2-pointers near 6:38 to make the lead 35-12.
Jae Smith was a game-wrecker for the Lady Patriots when she was on the floor, playing like she had something to prove.
“I was just trying to do better from my last game,” Smith said.
She might have been short on words after the game, but her play spoke for itself.
The Bob Jones freshmen flew around the court causing mayhem with turnovers, rebounds and blocking shot attempts.
By the end of the third quarter, the Lady Patriots were up 42-13 and the rest was a formality.
“I feel we didn’t produce enough effort throughout the second half,” Maxwell said.
“Obviously, I’m not happy, but we do live to see another game so we are just going to learn from this game, build and move on.”
While the Jets will try to reset and reload for next week, Bob Jones eyes staying the course as a team.
“It’s about us,” Carr said.
“We have to continue to work in practice so that we can be prepared to play better in the offensive end and defensive end.”