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'Poster girl' Jones' milestone moment highlights Lady Jays' victory against Spokane

CLEVER'S IRELAND JONES poses with her teammates after reaching the 1,000-point milestone Thursday.
CLEVER'S IRELAND JONES poses with her teammates after reaching the 1,000-point milestone Thursday.

Ireland Jones added to the legacy of the No. 10 jersey in Clever’s storied hardwood history by joining the Lady Jays’ 1,000-point club Thursday.

Jones needed 12 points to reach the 1,000-point milestone in Clever’s trip to Spokane and she scored 21 as the Lady Jays rolled to a 69-30 triumph.

“It's a dream to hit this,” Jones said.

The only two players who have worn No. 10 for Clever over the past eight seasons are both 1,000-point club members. Allie Clevenger sported No. 10 from 2016-2020 while scoring 1,902 points in her career.

"I always looked up to Allie. I'm wearing her number and I wanted to make her number proud," Jones said. “It wasn't intentional. I've grown up with this number. But I knew (as a freshman) filling this number was going to be a big role.”

Jones also joins the likes of 2019 grad Harper Little (1,580 points) and 2019 grad Abi Menzies (1,136) as 1,000-plus scorers for Clever. Also, 2022 grad Riah Robinson scored 939 points during her two seasons in a Lady Jays uniform while reaching 1,500 career points, after playing two seasons at Hillcrest.

“We've had some pretty good players get that mark,” Clever coach Clark Satterlee said.

Jones’ celebration rivaled that of any 1,000-point scorer anywhere. She surely did wonders for the sales of placards and Sharpie markers, as poster boards were plentiful and held upward with pride in the Lady Jays’ cheering section.

“They call me the poster girl,” Jones said. “But when I wasn't hitting at first, I was thinking, ‘Oh no, am I not going to get the posters because I'm not going to make it (to 1,000).

“Everyone was saying, 'Don't be nervous.' But I just went out and played basketball," she added. “I had a couple hard fouls (while shooting) that didn't get called. But I was okay. I was thinking, ‘Okay, that’s how we're going to play. We're going to take it slow, be calm and be relaxed.' After I hit my first 3. I was thinking, 'We're good, we got it.’"

Jones’ reputation is that of a charismatic and cheerful sort, but her popularity among Clever’s faithful that was on full display Thursday came as a bit of a surprise to her. 

I feel so loved with all the people that came out and supported me. I never imagined it would be this big,” Jones said. “I didn't think there would be anybody outside of my family. But a lot of people actually showed up. I’m so happy. It means a lot to me.”

Jones will cherish the poster boards commemorating her feat. 

“I think I'm going to hang up my favorites in my room,” she said. “That will be sick, having a whole wall of 1,000-point posters.”

Jones road to 1,009 points saw her score 76 as a freshman, 341 as a sophomore, 326 as a junior and 266 so far as a senior.

She endured a foot injury that limited her to 19 games last season.

Over her career, Jones has served a variety of roles. She’s been a distributor as a true point guard, a dynamic combo guard and now is being converted into a point-forward type. 

This season, she’s averaging a career-high 20.5 points a game.

“I focused on giving the ball as a freshman and sophomore,” Jones said. “It wasn't until my junior year that I actually wanted to score. (Playing in the paint) has been a lot of fun. My rebounding in the post and crashing (the boards) is coming into play and the stats are getting filled up.”

“With Ella (Newman) taking over at point guard this season, it’s really opened things up for Ireland to be able to score more,” Satterlee said.


Lady Jays guard Hicks contributes 17 points

Clever (8-5) received 17 points from senior guard Brylie Hicks and 11 from senior center Jayleign Flood.

Satterlee has been pleased to see Hicks emerge as an inside-outside scoring threat.

“She kind of used to be a 3-point shooter and that was it,” Satterlee said. “She's done a great job this year of being aggressive and making plays. She’s getting to the hole. She's fast, quick and has good instincts. She's not real big, but I think she's overcome that and found more confidence going to the hole. I've told her, ‘Yes you can shoot, but you're also quick enough to get to the basket.’"


Freshman Carr leads Spokane offense

Spokane (8-8) tops all of SWMO with 16 games played this winter. Bradleyville (2-14) is second with 15 games played and one loss by forfeit.  

The Lady Owls were led freshman guard Lilyan Carr with 15 points and senior forward Sydney Bryan with 11.