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February 15, 2007

Bounce Passes: Jones hanging on to one-win lead on Rady

TERRE HAUTE — Terre Haute North’s Jim Jones and Cloverdale’s Pat Rady are still neck and neck as they have been most of their careers. Jones is tops among active Indiana boys basketball coaches at 667 wins and Rady is right behind at 666. The two men rank third and fourth respectively on Indiana’s all-time list in case of you’ve been under a rock somewhere.

Both the North Patriots and the Cloverdale Clovers have 12 wins this season. While Jones’ team has gone 2-3 in the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference, the Patriots appear to be in a strong position in Class 4A Sectional 13 with a 4-0 record against the field. That mark includes two wins against Northview, one against Terre Haute South and a 23-point win against Mooresville.

Northview has a strong 5-2 record against the field — the losses both coming to North — and the wins include an 82-79 win against Plainfield (13-4).

The Class 4A field across the state is as tough as ever, but with some welcome parity compared to recent seasons when Greg Oden and Mike Conley dominated at Lawrence North, Jones said.

Eric Gordon, listed as one of the top five players in the nation, and his North Central team are one of many competitors for the state title.

“Competition in 4A right now is extremely good,” Jones said mentioning teams from Franklin Central up to Valparaiso. “[Gordon] has some excellent teammates. They’re just very good. They feel they’re good enough to win a state championship and they are. I think Center Grove feels the same way, as do many of the teams in the MIC. There’s a lot of parity in 4A.”

Jones also said that some 3A teams could definitely compete for a state title. He mentioned Washington, but we’ll add undefeated Edgewood to that group.

The Patriots rank 25th in Sagarin’s ratings, the sixth team from the MIC in the top 25. North Central is third, Warren Central is sixth, Lawrence North eighth and Center Grove 11th and Carmel 21st.

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