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Patriots lose 11 of last 12 games in close contests

Bob Jones has faced several of the best teams in boys basketball and played most of them down to the wire.

Unfortunately, those contests have usually resulted in losses.

“You don’t like to lose,” Bob Jones coach Graham Aderholt said. “We’ve got to find ways to win the close games.

Bob Jones has lost 11 of its last 12 games after starting the season 3-2. Graham Aderholt and his coaching staff have been developing a roster that is limited in varsity experience. Despite the lack of experience, the group has shown promise and could be in position to be a factor when area tournament time arrives.

“I think our team has a chance to (peak at tournament time),” Aderholt said. “I’m proud of the way they’ve battled. They don’t care who they’re playing or what their record is.”

Five of Bob Jones’ 13 losses have come to ranked Class 6A teams. The Patriots fell twice each to second-ranked Lee-Huntsville and fifth-ranked Sparkman, an area opponent. Area rival Hazel Green also beat the Patriots. They also lost twice to Austin, a team just outside the top 10.

Last Friday the Patriots lost to Sparkman, 50-46, on Jason Russell’s layup with 1.5 seconds left in regulation. The following night, Bob Jones took Lee-Huntsville to overtime but fell short, 66-59.

Aderholt said poor free-throw shooting has doomed the Patriots in several games.

“That kills you late in the game,” he said. “That’s part of growing up.”

As Bob Jones continues to mature as a unit, one player who has stepped up in a leadership role is junior guard Roderick Randolph. Aderholt said Randolph has emerged in recent weeks on and off the court.

“He has been a very vocal guy for us the past week to two weeks,” Aderholt said.

Bob Jones (0-4 in Area 15) will attempt to get its first area win Friday at Hazel Green. Saturday the Patriots will compete in the Bama Shootout in Birmingham.