Written by Corbett Smith
How Alexis Jones, Jordan Jones, Moriah Jefferson's skills compare
For the first time in its 11-year history, the McDonald’s All-American girls high school basketball game will feature three players from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
DeSoto’s Jordan Jones, Irving MacArthur’s Alexis Jones and THESA’s Moriah Jefferson make up one of the most talented group of girls basketball players the area has seen.
And all three guards are still alive in their respective playoffs.
Jordan Jones and DeSoto (33-5) play Spring Dekaney (37-1) at the 5A Region II tournament, 8 p.m. Friday at Baylor’s Ferrell Center in Waco.
Alexis Jones and MacArthur (34-2) play in the 5A Region I tournament in Fort Worth, opening at 6 p.m. Friday against Lubbock Coronado (27-6).
Jefferson and THESA (37-6) are in this week’s Texas State Home School Basketball Championship, held at the Frisco Fieldhouse. The final of the tournament is 3 p.m. Saturday.
Here’s how their own coaches described these players, as well as opinions from those who have faced them this season:
PG Jordan Jones
Committed to: Texas A&M
Stats: 14.4 points, 6.0 steals, 6.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 43 percent shooting from the field
HoopGurlz national ranking: 14
Breakdown: A fiery player, perhaps born from the one-on-one games she had with her younger brother Matt, who’s committed to Duke. Can play point guard or shooting guard. … When she played AAU ball with Moriah Jefferson, Jones became more of a go-to scorer.
Her coach’s words: “She brings a tremendous competitiveness to the game. Not only that, but she has an incredible basketball IQ. She sees things and understands things that most players don’t.” — Larry Goad
The opposition: “What I love about Jordan is that she is able to adapt her game to what is needed that night. If they need her to score, she can do that. If they need her to get her teammates involved, she can do that, too.” — THESA’s Alan Burt
“She has no fear taking it to the hole; taking it to a defender. With Jordan, it’s 100 percent, 100 percent of the time.” — Plano East’s Lagwenna Mingilton
PG Moriah Jefferson
Committed to: Connecticut
Stats: 18.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 5.5 steals, 60 percent shooting on 2s, 46 percent on 3s
HoopGurlz national ranking: 2
Breakdown: She has been part of an unprecedented run by THESA, winning five straight Gold Ball National championships. Dribbles as if the ball is on a string and can crossover a player at will. Her explosiveness and quickness might be unmatched by any other high school player in the country.
Her coach’s words: “She’s such an unselfish player, a pass-first player. Absolutely a true point guard. They talk about the ‘it’ factor; Moriah’s got it. She’s a combination of athletic skill — and also that personality and that determination.” — Alan Burt
The opposition: “We tried to run two people at her at all times, and when she didn’t have the ball, to deny the ball. It didn’t work very well. She’d either dribble past us or find a teammate. She’s very unselfish.” — Skyline’s Cassandra McCurdy
“It was the total package. She can shoot the ball well, but see the floor well, and that’s what I was impressed with the most. You can’t teach someone how to see the floor like that.” — Garland’s Pamela Owens
PG/SG Alexis Jones
School: Irving MacArthur
Committed to: Duke
Stats: 24.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists
HoopGurlz national ranking: 3
Breakdown: Combo guard led MacArthur to the state title last season, going for 25 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists in the final against Georgetown. If not for Odyssey Sims’ knee injury in her final high school game, MacArthur might be playing for its third straight title.
Her coach’s words: “She’s a fiery competitor with a truly humble spirit. She wills us not to lose; she refuses to lose. Not only does she see the floor so well, she’s such a team player that she raises up everyone else’s level as a player.” — Suzie Oelschlegel
The opposition: “Her body language — she’s so composed, even if they are down by two, or up by 20, her body language is the same. To be able to be controlled in the chaos, that’s mesmerizing to me as a coach.” — Plano East’s Lagwenna Mingilton
“The thing about Alexis is that she has so many weapons in her game. She can drive by you, shoot the 3, get her teammates involved. She’s an all-around player, and doesn’t bring the spotlight onto herself.” Kennedale’s Vance Hughes