Bob Jones falls to unbeaten Hazel Green in epic game
MADISON – For the second straight week in a row, the Bob Jones girls basketball game was the game of the night this past Friday with its dramatic moments at the end.
The Dec. 8 installment featured a clash at home against the undefeated Hazel Green girls team who were able to edge the Lady Patriots 49-45.
Bob Jones was led by the dynamic shooting of sophomore Jae Smith who racked up 20 points in the losing effort.
Smith was doing everything she could to drag her team back into this game with clutch 3-pointers and that mid-range touch closer toward the basket.
Hazel Green was powered by the scoring of its seniors Amiya Redus with 15 and center Leah Brooks who picked up 12 for the Lady Trojans.
“I’m proud of the way our team fought throughout the game,” Bob Jones head coach Jazmine Carr said.
“Jae Smith stepped up for us big time by knocking down some big-time shots and playing solid defense.”
Hazel Green jumped out to a 20-12 lead after one quarter of action while the second quarter was low-scoring and defensive-minded.
The majority of the points before the halftime break came from Redus and Smith who seemed to trade buckets like they were having a duel on the hardwood.
The Lady Trojans were up 27-21 thanks to Smith’s field goal with two seconds on the clock that tightened the game up just before the half.
Hazel Green appeared poised to bury Bob Jones in the early part of the third quarter as Brooks drained back-to-back field goals and Redus hit a 3-pointer to push the Lady Trojan advantage to 34-21 at the 5:42 mark, but the Lady Patriots kept battling.
“From the bench to the players on the court, we fought back as a team and I’m proud of that,” Carr said.
“We will keep learning and building to become the best team we can be.”
Smith went back to work in the third with more big shots and two free throws by senior Alana Obianozie made it 37-30 Lady Trojans with one quarter to play.
Bob Jones senior Zamyra Goode helped spark the rally with a big field goal to make it 37-34 Hazel Green.
With 5:07 to play, Smith hit another 3-pointer with ice water in her veins to knot the game up at 37-37.
Hazel Green was missing shots suddenly and the Lady Patriots could smell blood in the water.
This was their opportunity to pounce.
A field goal by Jae Smith at the 4:22 mark handed Bob Jones the lead at 39-37, but Brooks stormed back down the court and tied it back up at 39-39.
Goode was fouled and the Lady Patriot grabbed the advantage back for Bob Jones at 41-39 with 3:29 left.
It was short-lived though as Brooks continued to haunt the Lady Patriots with her relentless effort and timely scoring with a field goal that tied the game at 41-41 with 3:07 remaining.
Redus, who had hit a cold spell in the second half, drove the lane for 2-points to give Hazel Green the 43-41 lead with 1:59 on the clock as the defending Jae Smith went flying into the Bob Jones student section.
With time ticking down, Bob Jones was forced to foul the senior point guard Sydney Steward who hit six important free throws down the stretch for the Lady Trojans.
Hazel Green was up 47-41 until Smith took a deep 3-pointer that made it 47-44 with 16 seconds remaining.
The Lady Trojans next fouled Jordyn Fields who made them pay with a free throw shot to pull Bob Jones within two points of tying the game at 47-45.
The ensuing inbounds play was disastrous for the Lady Trojans who were being pressed by Bob Jones who muscled the ball away from Steward near the baseline for a jump ball that was given to Hazel Green.
The crowd had worked into a frenzy at this point as Hazel Green was struggling to keep the ball away from the hungry Bob Jones team who could taste victory as a second jump ball scenario was whistled.
The ball was given to the Lady Patriots with nine seconds remaining as Jazmine Carr called a timeout to talk strategy with her team.
The inbounds play found the hands of Jae Smith who had two Hazel Green defenders in her face as she let a 3-point shot go with four seconds on the clock.
The basketball rattled off of the rim and Steward was fouled and sent to the line where she made two more free throws giving her 10 points in the game and sealing the win for the Lady Trojans in a nail-bitter on the road.
As the clock hit zeros and the horn sounded, Jae Smith bent over in frustration near the scorer’s table.
She had played her heart out and scored 20, but it had not been enough.
It is epic, down-to-the-wire games like these that make teams tougher later in the season and Bob Jones had brought it against a quality Hazel Green unit despite the narrow loss.