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Lady Patriots gearing up for Area 15 tournament

Fourth-ranked Bob Jones appears to be settling into a second place regular season finish in Class 6A, Area 15.

Top-ranked Sparkman has clinched first place and will host the area tournament. Bob Jones (21-3, 3-2 in the area) lost twice to the Senators but beat Hazel

Green twice and Buckhorn once. The Lady Patriots will travel to Buckhorn on Jan. 25.

Before that meeting, Bob Jones will face non-area opponents James Clemens, Lee-Huntsville and Huntsville.

Bob Jones will face cross-town rival James Clemens on Friday. The Lady Patriots won at Clemens 33-23 on Dec. 7.

Bob Jones coach Danny Petty said the Lady Patriots started slowly in the first meeting.

“I thought we were too fired up,” Petty said.

Despite being a first-year team, Clemens (11-8 as of Monday) is second in Area 16 at 3-1.

“Coach (Jeff) Dunnavant has done a good job,” Petty stated.

Bob Jones is coming off a 52-27 loss to No. 3 Hoover last Saturday. The Lady Patriots lost to the Buccaneers in last year’s state final.

“It’s good that we played them,” Petty said. “Hoover has a great team.”

Lindsey Jennings and Chandler Elder have led Bob Jones been leading scorers in most of the team’s games. Jennings is one of only two seniors on a team that entered the season lacking in varsity experience.

Other players have also made contributions. Meredith Lovelady led Bob Jones with 10 points in the Patriots 49-30 win over Hazel Green last Friday. Chloe Long grabbed nine rebounds and Ashley McKay added another seven boards in the win.

A lack of varsity experience did not keep Bob Jones from winning 21 of its first 24 games. One factor that might keep them from reaching the state finals again could be if the Lady Patriots encounter a team with a size advantage. Sparkman and Hoover held such an advantage. The quickness of those bigger players added to the challenge

Hoover “is big, and they’re pretty big also,” Petty pointed out. “We had a hard time scoring…(and) they hurt us inside (with their offense).

“Sparkman (also) has more size and they’re not slow (either).”