As the final buzzer sounded, the Lady Longhorns piled in celebration near half court as Jones clinched the Class 3A state championship at State Fair Arena Saturday, defeating top-ranked Washington, 39-33.
“Three-peat,” the Longhorn fans chanted as time expired. “Three-peat!”
Third-ranked Jones proved they’re still No. 1 by defending their 3A crown once again.
The title is Jones’ third consecutive, the first three-peat in any sport for Jones High School and only the 10th three-peat in Oklahoma girls’ basketball history.
“Our goal before the year was to be uncommon,” said Jones head coach Jenni Holbrook. “And one of the ways to do that was, we knew we had an opportunity to concrete our names on that stat. And we’re happy to do that among some amazing teams.”
Four years ago, the Jones girls advanced to their first state tournament, it was canceled due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and the Lady Longhorns were locked out of their first state appearance.
Three years ago, JHS made its first state appearance, going on to win the school’s first girls’ title in any sport with a 63-28 win over Roland.
Last year, they became Jones’ first back-to-back champions in any sport with a 65-41 win over Idabel.
“We wanted to be legends,” said senior Zoe Tucker. “We were the first.”
Saturday’s game was the closest a Jones state title game has been, but the Lady Longhorns remain undefeated in the Big House.
The Warriors went on a short run in the third and Preslee Johnson made Washington’s second-consecutive 3-pointer to cut Jones’ lead to two points late in the third quarter.
Rielyn Scheffe carried Washington with 16 points, but it wasn’t enough to stop the defending champs.
“This team hates losing more than they like winning,” said Holbrook. “They don’t care how it happens, and I think that’s what’s hard about playing our team. Anybody is capable of scoring at any given time. We share those goals, and they don’t care who gets the credit.”
As usual, the Jones squad looked like a well-oiled machine grabbing 33 rebounds and nine steals in the title game.
Tucker has now been a key player in three state title games. She put up 25 points in the first and 19 in the second. Saturday, she led the Lady Longhorns with 10-first half points.
By the end of the game, scoring was well distributed with Sofi Woodson and Kasia Hansen each putting up nine.
Woodson, a 6-foot-2 junior forward, also grabbed 13 rebounds for Jones.
Jaelen Maples had six points on the night. She added seven rebounds and three assists.
Boston Berry, who made some big shots to lift the Lady Longhorns to the title game, put up five points, five rebounds and three assists Saturday.
Berry is a four-year starter at point guard for Jones, who has committed to McNeese State, and she surpassed the 1,000-point mark on her career at this year’s state tourney.
Only nine other teams in girls’ basketball state history have three-peated. Those teams include Seiling: 2016-2019 (only 4-peat), Alva: 2014-2016, Deer Creek: 2013-2015, Sequoyah Tahlequah: 2005-2007, Claremore: 2003-2005, Dover: 2001-2003, Lomega: 1987-1989, Cheyenne: 1985-1987, and Byng: 1936-1938.
Jones is still No. 1
Once again, the Jones High School Lady Longhorns proved they are still best-in-class as they cruised to their third straight 3A title Saturday at the State Fair Arena.
The defending back-to-back state champions, that returned their entire lineup from last season, was on a mission to prove they were once again underrated.
Mission accomplished as Jones moved to three in a row.
The Lady Longhorns proved they’re still No. 1 Saturday clinching a historic three-peat.
Despite a No. 3 ranking entering the state tournament and the most challenging bracket of all contenders, Jones came out on top for the third straight year.
A familiar position, Jones had to prove they’re the best and they did just that beating the No. 4, No. 2 and No. 1-ranked squads over the weekend.
Jones opened the tournament eliminating No. 4 Idabel, then avenged their only 3A loss topping No. 2-ranked Bethel (25-4) before stunning top-ranked Washington in the final.
“We wanted to be legends,” said senior Zoe Tucker.
And that’s what the Lady Longhorns did cruising to the tenth three-peat in Oklahoma girls’ basketball history.
Jones is undefeated (9-0) at the state tournament, and it’s all happened in the last three years.
Jones 39, Washington 33
It was a low scoring affair, and the closest game Jones has seen in the Big House.
But Jones got it done.
The Lady Longhorns’ defense was dominant as they racked up enough points to cruise to their third straight gold ball.
Jones turned their horns loose snagging 33 rebounds and taking nine steals in the title game.
“Our defense wins our championships, 100%,” said senior guard Jaelen Maples.
Maples finished the night with six points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Tucker led scoring with 10, while Sofi Woodson and Kasia Hansen each had nine points.
Washington had an easy opening round besting No. 7 Silo, 50-34.
Then top-ranked Washington found themselves down by 11 at one point in their semifinal game with No. 5 Kiefer, but came back to win, 46-43, in Friday’s game at Jim Norick Arena.
Jones 65- 54
Jones only lost to one OSSAA Class 3A program this season, and it was the regular season finale against Bethel (25-4).
The Wildcats got away with a 44-41 win over Jones, and they didn’t forget that entering round two of the state tourney.
Jones jumped out with a 15-0 run in the first quarter to setup an lead. Bethel would rally thanks to Bethel sophomore Josie Megehee, who put up 29 points, but it was too late as the Lady Longhorns were looking for gold.
Jones avenged that loss with ease Friday at State Fair Arena.
Jones won 65-54 to advance to their third straight state championship game.
“We want to win as team,” said Berry. “We just want each of our players to do well and even if we are having a bad game, someone will step up.”
Berry scored 28 points against Bethel.
Sofi Woodson put up 12, Hansen scored 11 and Tucker added six points and four assists.
Bethel had opened the tourney with a simple win over No. 9 Alva, 42-28.
Jones 65, Idabel 50
Maples hit four three-pointers and plenty of jumpers on her way to 20 points in the tournament opener.
Kasia Hansen scored 17 and Boston Berry put up 16.
Jones forced Idabel into 20 turnovers which the Longhorns turned into 26 points.
Fourth-ranked Idabel (25-3) was led by Mercades Lopez with 22 points, while 6-foot-6 junior Mary Carden had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The win advanced Jones to face second-ranked Bethel in the semifinals Friday at the Big House.
Lady Longhorns claim postseason honors
After claiming their third straight OSSAA Class 3A State Basketball Championship, it is no surprise the Lady Longhorns are being recognized with a plethora of postseason honors.
Senior stars Boston Berry, Zoe Tucker and Jaelen Maples were all named to the OGBCA West All-State roster.
Audrey Bain was named All-Region.
Jones High School’s Kaylee Byrd was named Assistant Coach of the Year.
Berry was named the State Tournament MVP averaging 16.3 points per game, Maples averaged 11.3 points a game to make the All-Tournament roster, while Kasia Hansen put up an average of 12.3 points through the state tourney to make the All-Tournament list.
Berry was the seconded highest scorer of the girls’ Class 3A tourney with 49 points, Hansen was sixth with 37 and Maples was seventh with 34 points at the Big House this year.
North Canadian River Valley All-Conference selections include Hansen, Berry, Tucker and Maples.
Berry was named Co-MVP alongside Bethel’s Parker Stevenson.
Sofi Woodson and Bain were honorable mention.
Tucker was named Defensive Player of the Year.
Other conference members include Harrah, Bethel, Mount Saint Mary, Little Axe, McLoud, North rock Creek and Tecumseh.
Harrah’s Lauren Lisby and Alyssa Hughey were other locals included on the All-Conference roster, while Baylee Mooney and Malia Jordan were named honorable mention.