GREENWOOD, SC – When discussing her team, Greenwood Lady Eagles Head Basketball Coach Susan Thompson stressed the importance of each player “knowing their role” on the team.
Coming into this season, junior guard Yonna Jones was thrust into an unfamiliar role following the departure of 2012 star guard Courtney Raiford, the role of team leader. The Lady Eagles haven’t missed a beat thus far, sprinting out to a 13-0 record, including a 6-0 record in Region I-4A play.
“I knew I had to try and lead a little bit more this year,” Jones said. “It’s been a little bit different but I knew I had to step up for my team.”
Although the junior guard is averaging 14.0 points per contest, Jones explained that she considers herself more of a defensive player.
“I don’t really look to score that much,” Jones said. “I try to get everyone else involved and like to see my teammates score. I try to pride myself on defense. Offense sells tickets but defense wins ballgames; that’s how I’ve always felt.”
According to Thompson, Jones can be perhaps too unselfish at times.
“It’s a good thing for her, but it can also be bad at times,” Thompson said with a laugh. “Sometimes she will be right there for an easy layup and try and pass it off to someone else. But overall, it is great to have someone so humble.”
Jones’ play has been key in the Lady Eagles’ play so far this season, as they are ranked eighth in the state of South Carolina in all classifications, according to maxpreps.com. They are ranked second according to the Class 4A Coaches poll.
“I have had a lot of players in the past that are just offensive minded or just defensive minded,” Thompson said. “The thing with Yonna (Jones) is that she’s so humble, and is the complete package both offensively and defensively.”
After a third round playoff exit in 2012, the Lady Eagles are hoping to make a run to the State Championship in 2012. According to Jones, the team “knowing their role,” as Thompson put it, will be essential as they look forward to the remainder of the 2013 season.
“We just all have to try and not do too much,” Jones said. “If someone’s shot isn’t falling, then give the ball to the person who has their game going. Just try and not do too much, know our role and stick to it. If we do that, we will be fine.”