Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

March 30, 2013

3rd EDN POTY honor for Jones

(Continued)

Gone was the player who passed first, repeatedly looking to find an open teammate, instead replaced by a hungry forward who reveled in the chance to attack the basket.

"She took more charge," Wendte said. "I was chewing her butt out left and right last year because she was actually having too many assists."

As rare as it may be to have a coach demand more shots, that was the case this season for Jones. Still averaging 4.9 dimes a game, Jones got her numbers, but did so in a more intelligent manor.

"She still had assists this year," Wendte said, "but the reason why is because she was double and triple-teamed. She's smart enough to know that if she draws the defense away from the bucket somebody will be open, and that helped us greatly."

This attack-first mindset helped her finish ninth in the Illinois Ms. Basketball voting (Mt. Carmel's Tyra Buss won the award), but Jones says she still has a clear team-first attitude. Rather than force any shots or become too self-absorbed with offensive numbers, she's still always looking for the open target.

"I do that a lot," she said. "If they're open, I'm going to give it to them."

Jones managed to bump her assist total up slightly from 4.8 last season, while also dramatically increasing her scoring from her 16 points to this year's staggering 23.9 mark.

"You set a task out for her and she's going to make sure she does that task," Wendte said. "We knew we were going to have to work to get closer, inside shots this year. She just got so much smarter on how to do the little things. If they didn't double or triple-team her she was going to the bucket."

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