Written by Corbett Smith
Girls All-Area Basketball: Alexis Jones made winning look easy
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: ALEXIS JONES
Irving MacArthur, Jr., G, 5-9
She beat her defender off the dribble, pulled up in the lane and knocked down a jumper.
Pointing an index finger, she snapped her fist to the sky.
With Irving MacArthur’s first shot of the UIL state tournament, Alexis Jones let people know that she came to win.
Jones and her teammates did just that, never challenged en route to winning the Class 5A title. In large part because of Jones’ play, MacArthur never trailed at state.
Of the 54 field goals MacArthur made at the state tournament, Jones — either by scoring or assisting — accounted for 39 of them (72 percent). Following her fifth triple-double of the season — 25 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds in the state final win over Georgetown — Jones said it felt like just another game.
“It doesn’t feel like we won it all,” Jones said. “It just feels like a regular ol’ game.”
That’s why Jones was named SportsDay’s player of the year. She makes the extraordinary seem easy.
After playing a supporting role alongside Odyssey Sims for her first two seasons, Jones, a junior, took over the spotlight after Sims’ departure.
Jones averaged 23.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 5.0 steals for Irving MacArthur (37-2), shooting 51.7 percent from the floor and 43 percent from 3-point range.
For a combo guard, her size, skill set and athleticism are unmatched in the state.
North Crowley coach Stephani Gray encapsulated Jones’ abilities after a loss to MacArthur in the Region I semifinals.
“You get closer to her, and she goes past you,” Gray said. “You give her a few inches, and she shoots a three over you.”
A member of last summer’s under-18 USA national team, Jones is being heavily recruited by the nation’s best — including Baylor, Texas A&M and Tennessee. MacArthur coach Suzie Oelschlegel said more than 40 programs have stopped by practices or games, and have all told her the same thing.
“They ask if they can take Alexis home with them, now,” Oelschlegel said.
Stats: Averaged 23.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 5.0 steals and 1.3 blocks. In leading MacArthur to the 5A state title, Jones had 14 double-doubles and five triple-doubles this season.