1,000 and counting: Raiders honor injured Jones before playoff loss
Junior Breona Jones missed the first game of her high school career Monday. Her Southern Vance team couldn’t fill the void of its missing floor general, falling 62-27 to Eastern Guilford in the first round of the 3-A state playoffs.
Jones sat out with a neck injury suffered in last week’s conference tournament final loss at Chapel Hill. She took a blow to the head near the end of the game, leaving with 19 points.
That brought her career scoring total to 1,078. She eclipsed 1,000 in the final regular season game at J.F. Webb and was recognized for the achievement before Monday’s game.
Jones didn’t realize she had reached 1,000 until she walked into the gym Monday before tipoff, her teammates holding a banner that read “Congrats, Breona.” She was also presented with a commemorative basketball.
“I didn’t think I was going to get it this year,” said Jones. “I thought it would be next year.”
“You usually don’t hear of a lot of players (in this area) scoring a thousand points since I’ve been around,” Southern coach Amy Simpson said of the milestone.
Jones was averaging 15 points a game this season along with 4.5 assists and steals. She said it was hard to watch from the sideline and had hoped to be back for the second round had Southern won.
But the Raiders were no match for a talented and versatile Eastern Guilford team.
“It would have been a game (with Jones),” said Simpson. “We would have had a little bit more firepower to go against them if we had her out there on the floor.”
Instead, post player Kiyanna Kearney started at point guard with Cordecia Southerland and Rashyda Burwell also filling in.
“Very disappointing,” Jones said of the loss. “Last year we got to the first round. I wanted us to go the second round at least so we could do better than last year. But I still have my senior year.”
The Raiders, who finished 20-7 on the season, lose only Carslin Talley and Tiara Jordan to graduation.
“I was talking to the ladies about making sure we step it up in the offseason,” said Simpson, “making sure we prepare and try to get ourselves a lot better.”
How much can the Lady Raiders improve?
Enough to win a state title. That, Jones said, is her goal as she looks forward to a summer of AAU basketball with Garner Road.
Contact the writer at email@example.com.