Gleason’s Jones, Westview’s Vincent named to All-State girls’ basketball teams

Gleason’s Jones, Westview’s Vincent named to All-State girls’ basketball teams

By MIKE HUTCHENS
Press Sports
District 13A Tournament MVP — check.
Signing a college scholarship  — check.
Making the all-state team — check.
Gleason’s Briana Jones capped a stellar senior season distinguished with many accomplishments when she was named to the 13-member Tennessee Sports Writers Association Class 1A All-State girls’ basketball team over the weekend.
The TSWA honor was well-deserved for the Lady Bulldog standout who led her team to a come-from-behind victory and the 13A postseason championship and earlier signed to play at the next level at Truett-McConnell College — a NAIA school in Cleveland, Ga., near Atlanta.
“She sort of flew under the radar in some circles because of us being in a rural area, but I think she was easily one of the better Class A players I saw,” Gleason head coach Joel Ayers said of Jones’ senior season. “She’s actually been a good player for three years, and she’s gotten better in some aspect of the game in each of those years.”
The 5-8 Jones averaged 19.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and registered 15 double-doubles while leading the Lady ’Dogs to a 21-8 record in her senior campaign. She shot 80 percent from the foul line and 42 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, despite spending most of her time in the post.
“She actually played out of position as far as where she would be a better fit for her naturally because we had to have her inside,” Ayers said. “She’s probably best suited to play the three-spot because she can shoot the 3-pointer and is equally capable of putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket or creating her own shot.
“She just has a great knowledge of the game. Briana spent a lot of time in the gym at an early age, and she has a great basic skill set that is a foundation borne of working hard at a young age. She has some natural abilities and talents, but she’s self-made as far as maximizing those skills with hard work.”
Jones, who scored more than 1,500 career points, is just the second player during Ayers’ four-year tenure at the tradition-rich Gleason girls’ helm to sign a college scholarship.
An assistant coach to Randy Frazier on the last of the school’s three state championship teams in 2007, Ayers said he believed Jones fit the mold of several similiarly-decorated Lady Bulldog standouts and could’ve played and contributed to the best of those GHS teams.
“No doubt, she could’ve played with them,” he said. “She’s versatile enough to have contributed at more than one position, and she was obviously driven.”
That would be another list for another day.

Published in The WCP 4.9.13

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