High School: Alexis Jones

The girls McDonald’s All-American game was won by an East team free throw, 79-78, with 0.3 seconds remaining in the game, a disappointing finish for the three Dallas-area players on the West squad.

However, the West wouldn’t have had a chance at the win if it hadn’t been for Dallas-area home school star Moriah Jefferson.

With just under a minute remaining in the game, Jefferson hit a 3-pointer from the corner to bring the West within two. The West would tie it up on two free throws, but wouldn’t be able to fend off the East in the end.

Jefferson, a UConn commit, finished with 10 points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal in 19 minutes. She shot 4-for-11 from the field and 2-for-4 from 3-point range.

Irving MacArthur’s Alexis Jones had a decent showing, showcasing her ability as a distributor in her 21 minutes of playing time with three quality assists in transition. Jones, a Duke commit, netted nine points and grabbed three rebounds while going 4-for-16 and 1-for-5 from behind the arc.

DeSoto’s Jordan Jones (Texas A&M) saw 11 minutes of time on the court and scored three points, grabbed one rebound and dished out three assists.

"It still doesn't feel real," Jones said of playing in the game. "A couple of years ago I was just an average player. It'll all probably hit me in a couple of days when I show everybody all my stuff."

Future Baylor Bear Alexis Prince (Orlando, Fla.) took home the game MVP honors with a 15-point, nine-rebound effort in Chicago.

Chris Hansen of ESPN HoopGurlz contributed to this report.

Five area stars in tonight's McDonald's games

March, 28, 2012
Five area basketball players will be in the national spotlight tonight at the McDonald's All-American games in Chicago.

Flower Mound Marcus' Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State) and Arlington Grace Prep's Isaiah Austin (Baylor) are on the West team of the boys game, which tips off at 8:30 p.m. CT on ESPN and ESPN3.com.

Three area players are in the West team of the girls game, which starts at 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU and ESPN3.com: home-schooler Moriah Jefferson (Connecticut) of Glenn Heights, Irving MacArthur's Alexis Jones (Duke) and DeSoto's Jordan Jones (Texas A&M).

ESPN.com's recruiting and high school experts will be holding a live chat during the game.

I-Mac's Jones wins second Gatorade state POY

March, 8, 2012
Irving MacArthur's Alexis Jones has been named the Gatorade Texas Girls Basketball Player of the Year for the second straight season.

[+] EnlargeAlexis Jones
Chris Hansen/ESPN.comIrving MacArthur's Alexis Jones is the returning Gatorade Texas Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
The award, given in collaboration with ESPNHS, recognizes not only athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Jones is now a finalist for Gatorade's national award.

The 5-foot-9 senior point guard averaged 25.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 4.8 steals in the 2011-12 season. She led MacArthur to a 35-3 mark and the Class 5A regional finals, where it lost to eventual state champion Duncanville in overtime.

Jones is a two-time returning All-American as named by ESPNHS. She averaged 24.0 points, 9.9 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 5.0 steals as a junior, capturing the state title game's Most Valuable Player honor in leading MacArthur to the 2011 5A crown. She played for USA Basketball's 2010 women's U18 team and 2011 U19 world championship team.

In the classroom, Jones has maintained a B-plus average. In addition to volunteering locally for a food bank, the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club of America, she has donated her time as part of a youth literacy campaign, a holiday gift-giving initiative and multiple youth basketball organizations.

No. 1 MacArthur rolls behind Jones' 44 points

February, 24, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Lubbock Coronado had no answers for Alexis Jones in a 76-62 loss to Irving MacArthur in the regional semifinals.

The senior Duke commit, No. 3 in the ESPNU 100 rankings, scored 44 points for the Cardinals, who are ranked No. 2 in the ESPN Dallas Top 10.

Despite her huge night, Jones said wasn't totally satisfied with her performance.

Boys brackets: 5A »   4A »
Girls brackets: 5A »   4A »
State tournament: Girls » Boys »
"I really don't know how I did it because I had a bad shooting game," Jones said. "I'm just glad we pulled out a win."

Jones started out cold, but still managed to score 16 points in the first half to put the Cardinals up 35-22 at the break.

She came out of the locker room on fire, scoring 15 points in the third. Coronado wouldn't quit though.

A 9-1 run helped to pull Coronado within three late in the third, but a buzzer-beater by Jones put MacArthur up 51-45 heading into the fourth.

Coronado pulled back within three early in the fourth, but Jones took over for good.

Despite the win, Cardinals head coach Suzie Oelschlegel said she hopes her team can improve on defense and on the boards.

"We got the ugly out, I hope," Oelschlegel said. "We've got to do a much better job on the boards."

MacArthur advances to play No. 2 Duncanville in the Region 1 final Saturday at 1 p.m.

Five area prospects make McDonald's rosters

February, 9, 2012
The 2012 McDonald's All-American rosters were released Thursday, and five basketball stars will represent the area.

The girls' game will be at 6 p.m. CT March 28 at Chicago's United Center (ESPNU) and will include three area representatives:

Moriah Jefferson, PG (Glenn Heights, Texas)
Alexis Jones, PG, Irving MacArthur
Jordan Jones, PG, DeSoto

The boys follow with an 8:30 p.m. CT tip-off (ESPN), and the roster will count on a pair of D-FW prospects:

Isaiah Austin, C, Grace Prep
Marcus Smart, SG, FM Marcus

Jones leads No. 1 MacArthur girls in blowout

January, 6, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- It was a pretty typical performance for the nation’s third-best senior girls basketball player, a member of the state’s No. 1 ranked team.

Alexis Jones, No. 3 in ESPNU's HoopGurlz Class of 2012 recruit rankings, pulled down eight rebounds, blocked two shots, came up with five steals and scored 17 points in Irving MacArthur’s 80-20 rout of Irving Nimitz on Friday night at Cardinals Gym.

Jones, a silky-smooth 5-foot-9 guard who has signed with Duke, crammed her evening’s accomplishments into an 18-minute window. The lopsided score gave MacArthur coach Suzie Oelschlegel an opportunity to rest starters and use reserves liberally.

MacArthur (23-2, 8-0 in District 6-5A), the defending Class 5A state champion, is ranked No. 1 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ Class 5A poll and No. 18 nationally in the ESPNHS POWERADE FAB 50 Rankings.

“Not much has changed from last season,’’ Jones said. “We like to run the floor and look for each other. We lost post players from last season, but so far that’s only hurt when our shots aren’t falling.’’

Oelschlegel, in her 32nd season at MacArthur, said this year’s team is very unselfish.

“This group of girls is the epitome of a team,’’ the coach said. “They don’t care who get the points. They share the ball. And they have fun.’’

Tory Jacobs, a 5-10 sophomore, scored 14 points for MacArthur and 5-4 senior Ayriel Anderson added 11.

MacArthur suffered both of its defeats over the holidays in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona that drew teams from across the nation.

“That tournament helped our entire team,’’ Jones said. “We didn’t play a good first game, but at least we came back and won a couple of games to show the kind of team we have.’’

For MacArthur to make a return trip to the state Final Four in March, it will have to negotiate a Region I bracket that is likely to include five teams currently ranked among the top 12 in the state: Duncanville, Southlake Carroll, Plano West, Arlington Bowie, and Mansfield Timberview.

“We’re preaching play hard and don’t take any possessions off,’’ Oelschlegel said.

Said Jones: “We need to box out better. Everybody has to come to play every game and defense will be the key. As long as we’re playing D, we’ll put points on the board.’’

Last season’s state championship accomplishment is recognized by a team picture/banner that takes up a good portion of a wall at one end of Cardinals Gym.

“I don't look at it that much,’’ Jones said. “But when I do, it feels good to know we got one. And hopefully, we can get another.’’

MacArthur's Jones shines at Nike tournament

December, 21, 2011
Irving MacArthur girls basketball star Alexis Jones is one of the most entertaining players in this year's Nike Tournament of Champions field in Chandler, Ariz.

The 5-9 Jones put up 32 points in MacArthur's 72-62 win over No. 5 St. John's College (Washington, D.C.). She scored MacArthur's first eight points with two straight 3-pointers and then an easy layup, which was a result of a steal. She paced her team throughout much of the game and then scored her team's last five points, going 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.

Read more about Jones and other rising stars at the tournament here.

Area girls ranked 2-3 in HoopGurlz '12 top 100

May, 10, 2011
Home-schooled Moriah Jefferson of Glenn Heights and guard Alexis Jones, who led Irving MacArthur to the Class 5A girls basketball state championship, are ranked Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, in the initial ESPN HoopGurlz top 100 rankings for the Class of 2012.

Jones is the highest-ranked player yet to make a verbal commitment. The top two on the list, No. 1 Breanna Stewart and Jefferson, have committed to Connecticut.

DeSoto point guard Jordan Jones, who also remains uncommitted, is No. 15.

Other area players in the top 100 include No. 32 Chelsea Jennings of North Crowley, No. 37 Nicole Kornet of Argyle Liberty Christian and No. 93 Empress Davenport of Duncanville.

Check out the full top 100 here.

MacArthur's Jones named Texas Player of Year

March, 10, 2011
Irving MacArthur junior Alexis Jones, who was named MVP of the Class 5A state title game, was named the 2010-11 Texas Girls Basketball Player of the Year by Gatorade/ESPN RISE on Thursday.

Jones, a 5-9 forward, led MacArthur (35-2) to the 5A state championship. She averaged 24 points, 9.9 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 5.0 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. The two-time returning Class 5A First Team All-State selection also was a member of the gold-medal winning USA Basketball U18 National Team at the 2010 FIBA Americas Championship.

The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the court. Jones is now a finalist for the national player of the year award, which will be announced later this month.

Jones has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom. In addition to donating her time locally at a food bank, the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club of America, she has volunteered as part of a youth literacy-outreach campaign and a charitable holiday gift-giving initiative.

“I’ve been doing this for 39 years, and Alexis Jones and Tamika Catchings are the two top players we’ve ever faced,” said Sue Cannon, head coach of rival Trinity High. “She’s a complete player, and she’s so unselfish. That’s the thing I love about her. She looks to pass. She’s an exceptional scorer, penetrator and 3-point shooter, but the sign of a great player is when you make everyone around you better.

"She’s made her team so much better by playing unselfishly and within the team concept. I’ve never seen such a complete player as a junior in high school. The thought of having to go against her twice next year is pretty unsettling.”

One of the great things about having all the year’s best high school teams in one place for the state tournament is the opportunity to hear the stories that surrounded them.

Typically, the most intriguing stories came from those players and teams that were able to achieve the ultimate goal of the weekend and finding motivation in them.

Here are my awards for some of the best performances of the weekend and the stories that helped make them possible.

Best Team Effort

The most intriguing team effort came from the Canyon Lady Eagles, who won the 4A state title over Austin LBJ, 66-58. Canyon head coach Joe Lombard said LBJ surprised him throughout the game, switching between three different defenses which, at times, stalled the Canyon offense.

Lombard was extremely happy when he learned that halftime of the 4A title game was extended so the UIL could present the 2A state finalist with medals and trophies, giving him extra time and allowing him to create and teach a brand new offense to combat LBJ’s triangle and two defense.

Canyon’s players ran through the new scheme a few times in the locker room and then put it to work on the court in the second half, scoring eight more points than in the first half.

The championship win capped off a 36-0 season, making the 2010-11 Canyon team the third in school history to win a state title without losing a game.

But that’s not all. The win gave Lombard his 1,100th career win, which he realized before the season began could only be achieved if his team did not lose a single game. And if that wasn’t enough, the final win came on his birthday.

Best Individual Effort

This award goes hands-down to Abilene Wylie’s Peyton Little for the Lady Bulldog’s 66-58 win over Lucas Lovejoy in the 3A state title game.

The crafty guard weaved her way through the Lovejoy defense with ease, leading to her tournament high 43-point game, the most scored in a 3A title bout. Little’s record-breaking performance toppled Karen Thompson of Pflugerville’s 42-point record that stood for 32 years.

Little also pitched in four rebounds, four assists and five steals.

Wylie’s win gave the school it’s third girls state championship in as many years. And without a single senior on the roster this season, Wylie has to be the favorite in 2012 to make it four.

Tournament MVP

The main event of Saturday night, the 5A title game, was a matchup of talented heavyweights in Irving MacArthur’s Alexis Jones and Georgetown’s Krystal Forthan. Forthan, a 6-foot-4 post and LSU commit, is ESPN Hoopgurls' No. 5 recruit in the nation for the class of 2011. Jones is No. 4 on the 2012 list.

The 5-foot-9 Jones showed no fear against her much taller opponent, never hesitating to take it to the hole in the face of Forthan. Her triple-double performance led her team to its 74-51 win and the game MVP award.

Her showcase of skill in both of the Lady Cardinals games in Austin earned her the tournament MVP, asl well. She not only could single-handedly put a team away with pull-up 3’s, but she was also able to find open teammates for a wide-open lay-up or jumper.

She was recognized during the postgame trophy presentation for having the ability to make her entire team play on another level, which garnered the response of nodding heads from every Lady Cardinal player on the court.

The only question remaining for Jones, who is a junior this year, is what feats can she accomplish next year.
AUSTIN -- Georgetown took down Alief Elsik in the 5A state semifinal Friday, 56-51 , and will face Irving MacArthur in the final at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Frank Erwin Center.

Georgetown's Krystal Forthan was the game's leading scorer with 27 points. The 6-4 Forthan, ESPN Hoopgurlz No. 5 recruit in the nation for the class of 2011 and LSU commit, is a dominating post presence but can also ball handle and hit from behind the arch. It will be interesting to see which star player, Forthan or MacArthur's Alexis Jones, will have the bigger game Saturday.

After the gama, Georgetown head coach Rhonda Farney discussed Saturday's matchup with MacArthur and the meeting of star players.

"I know that they have some phenomenal players and that they played phenomenal this afternoon," he said. "It's going to be tough. I think everyone's best kids will cancel each other out and it will come down tomorrow night to players 4, 5, 6, 7 and maybe even deeper than that to win the game."
AUSTIN -- Irving MacArthur unleashed a vicious 1-2 punch in the Class 5A girls basketball state semifinal in knocking out San Antonio Wagner, 64-51, Friday at the Frank Erwin Center.

The Lady Cardinals' left-handed haymaker is Alexis Jones, ESPN Hoopgurlz 2012 No. 4 national recruit. Jones was easily the standout on the court and finished with a game-high 22 points. She appeared to avoid early jitters and had a hand in MacArthur’s first 13 points -- scoring nine and providing assists to four.

“We wanted to get the biggest lead that we could so, if we made a mistake we wouldn’t have to pick up what we messed up,” Jones said.

“Alexis, she was just hitting. I didn’t even expect it like that,” Wagner senior forward Arielle Roberson said.

MacArthur (35-2) never relinquish the lead. Jones finished one assist and one rebound away from a triple-double, but the standout guard said she wasn’t happy with her game.

“I don’t feel like I did as much as I could to help out,” Jones said. “I feel like I made a lot of mistakes I shouldn’t have made. I feel like I could have done better than I played.”

While Jones was on a level above any other player, she said she would be on an even “better level” in Saturday night's 5A final.

MacArthur’s consistent jab against Wagner was guard Ayriel Anderson. Her speed left full-court passes behind the Wagner defense wide open, leading to 12 points in the game. It was common to see Anderson diving for a loose ball to keep a play alive or going for a steal.

“She’s definitely our spark plug. She brings a lot of energy to the floor,” MacArthur head coach Suzanne Oelschlegel said. “The bunny that’s the energizer – that’s what she does. I don’t know where she gets that energy, but she just keeps it going.”

The court vision of Anderson and Jones also gave post Karmyn Jackson the opportunity to put in 16 points.

“I have to prepare myself because [Jones] does chunk the ball kind of hard,” Jackson said. “I had my hands ready and I always caught the ball.”

MacArthur scored 32 points in the paint Friday. The Lady Cardinals also outscored Wagner (32-6) in points off turnovers, 17-9, and points off the fast break, 15-2.

MacArthur prepares for Round 2 in the state tournament Saturday at 8:30 p.m., playing the winner of Friday night’s Georgetown-Alief Elsik game for the state title.

“Last year when we lost to Cedar Hill, it was pretty upsetting,” Jackson said. “We’ve always worked hard to get where we wanted to go and now we’re here and hopefully we win it.”

Last year was expected to be the Irving MacArthur girls basketball team’s best chance to win a state title.

The Lady Cardinals had a team leader many believed was the best player in the area, state and even nation, Odyssey Sims. With Sims leading the way in her senior season, MacArthur had a date cutting down the net at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.

However, it all changed in the blink of an eye.


  • Girls state tournament pairings »
  • More girls playoff coverage »
  • Boys regional quarter pairings »
  • More boys playoff coverage »
  • In MacArthur’s 2010 regional final game, Sims went down with a torn ACL in the first 13 seconds of the game. Unable to deal with the loss of their leader, the Lady Cardinals lost to Cedar Hill and fell short of reaching Austin.

    “We felt we got a little cheated,” MacArthur head coach Suzie Oelschlegel said. “I don’t want to say the word cheated, but we felt like last year it should have happened.”

    Sims has moved on to star at Baylor, but five seniors returned from last year's team and are determined to complete their championship mission. Using that game as motivation, he Lady Cardinals have made their way to the state tournament.

    “All the kids that game back from that same group, they decided from that point on they were going this year,” Oelschlegel said. “They played together all spring and summer and we fought hard and worked hard all season, and here we are.”

    This year’s edition features a new leader, junior Alexis Jones, who averages 21.1 points. Jones and MacArthur marched through the 5A bracket, beating Plano West and North Crowley, teams that had been ranked on the final ESPN Dallas 5A top 10. They punched their ticket to state by taking down Midland in the regional final in Fort Worth last Saturday.

    “The excitement is on and it all started when every girl cut down a piece of that net, and it just got the juices flowing,” Oelschlegel said. “Everyone is just high stepping it around here, and it’s an exciting time.”

    At 3:30 p.m. Friday, the excitement hits the court, as MacArthur (35-2) faces San Antonio Wagner (32-6) in the 5A state semifinals.

    The team’s slogan for this season has been, “We in dat thing,” meaning they are in every game to win it. Now, as they travel down I-35 at the end of this week, they can confidently say that they are most certainly “in dat thing.”

    MacArthur isn't the only area team with a chance to bring back a state championship.

    Dallas Lincoln (28-10) eyes the Class 4A title, beginning with its semifinal game at 8:30 p.m. Thursday against Austin LBJ (27-4).

    Lucas Lovejoy (28-10) can bring home a title in 3A, as it faces Fairfield (27-10) on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the semifinals.

    All girls state championship games will be played Saturday.

    Jones helps MacArthur girls thump Plano West

    February, 22, 2011
    PM CT
    CARROLLTON, Texas -- Alexis Jones draws all eyes when she has the ball in her hands.

    Fans stay glued to her 5-foot-9 frame in hopes of seeing another highlight, while opponents constantly follow her on the court -- sometimes ill advisedly.

    On Tuesday, everyone watched the junior make a state-ranked Plano West team look ordinary as Jones scored 35 in MacArthur's 71-58 win in the Class 5A Region I quarterfinals at Carrollton Creekview High School.

    MacArthur advances to play North Crowley to open the Region I tournament at 6 p.m. on Friday at Fort Worth ISD's Wilkerson-Grines Activity Center.

    "As a team, we're very solid, and we have to take advantage of every opportunity that we get," said MacArthur head coach Suzie Oelschlegel.

    Jones, ranked No. 4 in the nation by ESPN in the class of 2012, added eight rebounds and eight assists to her impressive stat line, and her hot hand in the fourth quarter helped MacArthur seal the win after Plano West gained some momentum.

    MacArthur (33-2) led by as many as 17 in the third quarter but Plano West (28-7) used a 9-0 run that extended into the fourth quarter to cut its deficit to just six points.

    "We were playing lazy defense [in the third quarter]," Jones said "We just needed to get it together."

    But Jones, who said she suffered her first cramp of the season in third quarter, found her game after a MacArthur timeout, scoring 15 of her team's 21 points in the final frame.

    "That fourth quarter there toward the end, we finished strong," Oelschlegel said.

    MacArthur ended the regular season ranked No. 2 in the ESPNDallas.com Class 5A area poll, and Plano West was No. 6.

    The attention Jones garners also benefits her teammates. With opponents so fixated on her whereabouts, MacArthur attackers are often left unguarded and open for an easy assist.

    Senior post Karmyn Jackson is the perfect example. When Jones charges the rim, defenders collapse around her, leaving Jackson alone in the paint. Jackson scored 14 points.

    Plano West looked lost to open the game as MacArthur jumped out to an 18-6 lead in the first quarter, but the Lady Wolves recommitted to an aggressive defensive style that helped them keep the game in reach.

    MacArthur's lead shrunk to five points in the opening seconds of the second quarter and held steady at six before the Lady Cardinals outscored Plano West 15-5 to close the half.

    Sims leads Irv. MacArthur to regionals

    February, 24, 2010
    AM CT
    ARLINGTON, Texas -- The odds of beating a team three times in one season improve greatly when Odyssey Sims is involved.

    Irving MacArthur’s 5-foot-8 guard and a Baylor signee scored a season-high 40 points in the Lady Cardinals’ 68-57 win over Duncanville in a Class 5A Region I quarterfinal Tuesday night at Lamar High School.

    “I seem to have my best games against Duncanville,’’ said Sims, rated the No. 3 senior nationally by ESPNU’s HoopGurlz. She had 36 (previous season high) and 27 points in a pair of District 7-5A wins over Duncanville last month. “They have a great team and it makes me want to play my best.’’

    About the only time Sims was stopped in a 21-point first half was when she ran headlong into teammate Monique Jackson on one of her bolts to the basket.

    MacArthur sophomore guard Alexis Jones added 20 points, proving once again why the Lady Cardinals have one of the most feared backcourts in the state.

    A fast start allowed MacArthur (36-1) to dictate a quicker pace than Duncanville (33-4) might have liked.

    MacArthur, No. 22 nationally in ESPN Rise Fab 50 and No. 3 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ 5A state rankings, saw its 14-point halftime lead twice reduced to eight points in the final four minutes. On each occasion, the Lady Cardinals responded with a basket to extend the lead to 10. Sims hit a leaner in the lane with 3:10 remaining, and Karmyn Jackson popped a 15-footer from the corner 90 seconds later.

    Senior guards Ashley Roberts (15 points) and Ryah Lacy (14) led Duncanville, No. 33 nationally and No. 4 in the state.

    The final score was similar to the first two matchups, 69-56 at MacArthur on Jan. 2 and 67-57 at Duncanville on Jan. 26.

    MacArthur advances to the Region I tournament at Fort Worth’s Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center with an 8 p.m. Friday semifinal rematch against defending state champion Mansfield Summit (26-8). Summit defeated North Crowley on Tuesday, 55-54.