Top-ranked Lady Senators on verge of claiming Area title

The Sparkman girls basketball team moved another step closer to achieving one of its goals.

Sparkman, No. 1 in Class 6A, beat Area 15 rival and fifth-ranked Bob Jones 62-53 last Friday. The Senators (18-0, 4-0) can clinch the regular season area championship with a home win over Buckhorn on Friday. They defeated the Bucks 63-39 at Buckhorn on Dec. 7.

“We’ve got to keep our focus,” Sparkman coach Patrick Delay said. “We remind (the players) daily. We really haven’t accomplished anything yet.”

During the holiday break, Sparkman won the Wills Valley Shootout in Fort Payne and the Beech Holiday Tournament in Hendersonville, Tenn.

“It was good to get away,” Delay said.

Alexis Jennings earned tournament MVP honors in Hendersonville by averaging 18 points in three games. She scored 17 points in the championship game.

Jennings, Toni Brewer and Maiya Rumph were named to the all-tournament team.

With the Sparkman off to an unbeaten start, Delay pointed to one of the key reasons for the team’s success.

“The constant has been the effort,” he said. They play hard, they defend…and rebound.”
After facing Buckhorn on Friday, Sparkman will play five of its next six games on the road before capping off the regular season with three straight home contests.

A three-game road stretch will begin Saturday with a trip to Minor. Sparkman beat Minor 76-27 at home on Nov. 13.

Although Sparkman has won most of its games by double digits, Delay cautioned there is still room for improvement.

“Our ball handling and decision making (must improve)” Delay said.

Delay added that the Senators also needed to work on boxing out on the defensive boards.

Before the Senators face Buckhorn on Friday, a reunion for the 2002 and 2003 state championship teams will be held at 5 p.m. in the school cafeteria.