Jones High School to make first trip to state tournament
By Ryan Horton
Jones High School claimed the Area Championship with a 51-39 win over No. 14 Kingston Friday, and with the win the Jones girls have made history.
The Lady Longhorns are headed to the state tournament for the first time ever.
“Since day one my goal here has been the same. We want to take a girls team to state,” said head coach Jenni Holbrook, who took the helm of the Jones program four years ago.
Friday, with a talented roster of Lady Longhorns and growing support form the community, that goal was accomplished.
The Jones girls’ basketball team will be the first female sports program to enter a state tournament when they take the court Thursday.
“We’ve never had a girls’ team go to state. We have three girls’ banners, all cheerleading, hanging in the gym,” explained Holbrook.
Holbrook took the helm at Jones in 2016 after a 19-year career with the Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District where she regularly helped the Lady Yellowjackets navigate the playoffs.
Making the state tourney proved a challenging task as roster depth and community support has been on the rise. Jones was one game shy last season.
Now the Lady Longhorns can focus on a bigger prize as they eye a Class 3A State Championship.
No.2 Jones (26-1) opens the state tourney vs. No. 9 Eufaula (25-4) at the state fairgrounds Thursday at 2 p.m.
A win would advance JHS to face the winner of No. 3 Milwood (22-4) and No. 7 Christian Heritage (21-8) Friday night in a semifinal contest.
The Class 3A final is Saturday at 5:45 in the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Arena.