MUNCY - Jordan Jones never noticed nearly everyone in the Muncy gym standing and applauding. And when a teammate jumped on her back in celebration, she remained oblivious. Everyone else knew what just happened, but Jones remained focused only on playing defense.
That sequence best symbolized who Jones is. The senior guard became just the fifth girls player in Muncy history to reach 1,000 career points Friday night, but she never knew how close she was. And truthfully, she did not even care that much. Winning is Jones' only focus.
The 1,000-point milestone was nice, but Jones was happier about how the game ended. Jones scored a career-high 31 points and dealt six assists as Muncy defeated Bucktail, 58-44, and improved to 4-0. Jones needed 29 points to reach 1,000 entering the game and topped her previous high of 27 while becoming the first Indian since Jordan Rishel in 2008 to join the 1,000-point club.
Muncy's Jordan Jones makes a layup around defending Bucktail's Hannah Schearer during the game at Muncy on Friday. Jones scored her 1,000th point on Friday. View additional photos at cu.sungazette.com
"I honestly did not know what happened. I thought Maria (Morgan) was going to beat us down the floor. Everyone was cheering and I was just focused on getting back on defense," Jones said. "Honestly, I never thought about scoring 1,000 points. I just wanted to get in there and make a difference and be a leader and get to districts and get to states and make a run there."
Jones' arrival in 2010 helped usher in one of the best runs in program history. With Jones playing well in all facets and emerging as a team leader her freshman year, the Indians have reached states the last three seasons. Before Jones arrived, Muncy had not played in states since 2002.
It has been a team effort, but Jones has been the catalyst. Whether driving or hitting from outside, whether passing, rebounding or playing defense, Jones can and has done it all. That was evident last night as she scored at will, but also set up teammates for easy shots, grabbed nine rebounds, made two steals and blocked two shots.
"Jordan came out fighting because she's a born leader," Muncy coach Craig Weaver Jr. said. "She had the leader presence as a freshman and when she came here she never relinquished that. She coaches on the floor and helps her teammates. That's who she is."
It was typical Jones afterward, deflecting praise and sharing it with her teammates, sighting current and former players who have helped her flourish. One of those former teammates, sister Jaylan, was there, making the night even more memorable.
Jones played one of her best scholastic games, reaching 20 points by halftime and 29 through three quarters. She etched her name into Muncy lore with 6:27 remaining when defensive stopper Brianna McLaughlin fed her under the basket while in transition. Jones caught the pass on the right side of the basket, pump faked Morgan and banked in the layup as the crowd roared and teammates soon engulfed her.
Jones received handshakes from the entire Bucktail team after play was stopped before embracing her father and Jaylan while her mother filmed it all. Those who have watched Jones over the year and come back from a torn ACL suffered as a freshman seemed happier than she.
"I have so many great teammates around me. I couldn't do it without all of them," Jones said. "My class has been together since third grade. My aunt coached us and played in all-stars and it's been a blast."
"It's the hard work that girl puts in during the offseason," Weaver said. "Jordan plays basketball year-round. This is her sport and you can't question her work ethic because she goes and busts her butt for us every day."
Jones stole the show on a night McLaughlin delivered a spectacular defensive performance. The junior guard hounded Morgan, an all-state 1,300-point scorer, and held her to five points before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Only three of those points came when McLaughlin guarded her. McLaughlin also added six assists while Crystal Good had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Emily Shnyder added 10 rebounds and Nikki Scott blocked four shots.
Even when she is not scoring, though, Morgan makes a big impact. She had six of her seven assists by halftime and beautifully set up teammates while finishing with 18 points, 11 rebounds and six steals. The junior point guard tried willing Bucktail (1-2) back in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 points and making all nine of her shots from the foul line and the field. Tiffany Werts complemented Morgan and had a career-high 12 points and eight rebounds.
Still, this night belonged to Jones. She was unstoppable at times and when she reached 1,000 points, Jones was outscoring Bucktail by herself, 29-27. Not that Jones was keeping track of her stats. She just cares about the final score.
Call her the accidental 1,000-point scorer.
"That's always been her concept, it's all about the team," Weaver said. "It's great to get 1,000 but for her it's about winning first and she showed that again tonight."
Maria Morgan 6 5-5 18, Alaina Tripp 3 1-2 7, Hannah Shearer 1 2-4 4, Tiffany Werts 6 0-3 12, Natasha Peck 1 0-0 2, Cheyenne Casper 0 1-2 1. Totals 17 9-15 44.
Jordan Jones 13 3-3 31, Brianna McLaughlin 2 0-0 5, Emily Shnyder 0 0-0 0, Crystal Good 5 4-6 14, Allison Edwards 2 1-2 5, Natalie Lamoreaux 0 1-2 1, Nikki Scott 1 0-0 2, Autumn Temple 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 9-13 58.
Bucktail6 6 11 21-44
Muncy13 18 13 14-58
3-pointers: Bucktail 1 (Morgan); Muncy 3 (Jones 2, McLaughlin).
Records: Muncy 4-0. Bucktail 1-2.
JV Score: Muncy 34-23