Sparkman carried an 6-1 mark into last week’s Class 7A, Area 8 opener with visiting 4-1 James Clemens.
The third-ranked Senators beat the sixth-ranked Jets 66-59 led by 18 points from Ellis Lee. Darron Howard had 17 and Malik Tyson added 15.
James Clemens got a game-high 23 points from A.J. McGinnis and 10 from Cameron Harris.
Heading into the game Sparkman coach Jamie Coggins said his team benefited from a challenging schedule and a senior-laden roster.
“I think the guys have a lot of confidence,” Coggins said. “We have a lot of experience (eight seniors). These guys have been through the battles. I think that’s paying off for us now.”
Along with seniors Lee and Howard and junior Tyson, Coggins credited seniors Kaleb Mack, Carrington Simpson, A.J. Horton and Jonathan Bolden for providing the chemistry necessary for the team’s success.
“I think that’s the key when you have an experienced team like this,” Coggins said. “You got several guys who can go out there and produce for us.”
Before the area opener, Howard led the Senators in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals with 17 points, seven boards and four assists per game.
Howard “is a guy who’s really matured and grown up tremendously,” Coggins said. He “was a guy that had a great summer.”
Tyson was second in points and rebounds with 12 points and six per contest, respectively. Bolden also averaged six rebounds.
Sparkman beat visiting Guntersville 74-60 on Nov. 27 before hosting Clemens on Dec. 1.
The Senators will travel to fourth-ranked Buckhorn on Friday in another area matchup before visiting Mae Jemison on Monday.
Other boys basketball notes
James Clemens will host Bob Jones on Friday in Class 7A, Area 8 play. The Patriots lost at home to Mae Jemison (Nov. 27) and at Columbia (Nov. 28) before dropping its area opener at Buckhorn (Dec.1).
Bob Jones will host Austin on Tuesday. James Clemens will host Columbia in another Tuesday contest.
Class 4A No. 5 Madison Academy won at Randolph on Nov. 28 in the Area 14 opener for the teams. The Mustangs defeated visiting Florence on Dec. 1.
Madison Academy will host Guntersville on Saturday and play at area rival Westminster Christian on Monday.