At the beginning of the 2020-2021 basketball season, Deb Jones, mother of Wayne CSD junior Emily Jones, remembered her daughter’s goal to hit at least 1 3-pointer during her junior season. It seemed to be a fairly reasonable goal that could be attained.
In fact, her goal was met during the 1st game of the season when Emily sunk 2 from behind the 3-point arc. She didn’t stop there however and following her impressive performance in the Pride of Iowa home matchup on Jan. 28 where she hit 7 from 3-point range, Jones now sits with 34 total 3-pointers for the season.
Those 102 points played a big role in helping Emily reach the prestigious milestone of scoring 1,000 total high school points throughout her 3-year career. Reaching this achievement as a junior makes it an even more admirable feat as she still sits with 2 additional regular season games followed by districts this year.
When Jones took the floor for the Thursday evening meet up on the Lady Falcon home court, she seemed cool, calm and collected.
“I knew I needed 34 more to reach 1,000, but I wasn’t nervous at all, I just wanted to win the game,” said Emily. “I knew we still had games left in the season and if I didn’t reach it tonight it could still happen this year.”
Falcon fans in attendance felt pretty confident she was well on her way to reaching her goal as she ended her 1st half of play with 24 points, hitting 3 3-pointers in a row in the 2nd quarter alone. She had already bypassed her single game scoring average of just over 22 points with still a full half remaining to play.
Emily wasted no time attacking the hoop and setting up for another 3-point attempt early in the 3rd quarter, and as it swished through the net only 3-points remained for her to reach the ultimate goal. As the time continued to count down, teammate Sidney Davis brought the ball up the floor and with one swift pass, Emily took her shot with 4:35 sitting on the clock left to play in the 3rd. Another perfect aim, hitting only net, and the crowd erupted in cheers.
“I knew I was close, but I didn’t even think about it at first,” Emily stated. “After a couple teammates said something and hugged me and I had a moment to process it, I was overwhelmed with excitement.”
Not only did she reach the 1,000-point pillar, but also she exceeded it. She went on to finish with 41 points for the evening leading to a new single game career-high.
“We played really well tonight as a team moving the ball around and playing at our pace,” she said.
With Emily missing out on her sophomore track and field season due to COVID as no spring sports were allowed and restrictions in place that could easily have student-athletes missing games and even full athletic seasons once the new school year began, she was nervous how her junior year would go.
“I was scared to lose another season,” she added.
Being a 4-sport athlete, missing any time competing can lead to setbacks for athletes. Emily however is defying the odds as she was a state qualifier in discus her freshman year, a member of the 2-time state qualifying Lady Falcon softball team and now even after missing her track and field season last year, she continues to aim higher adding to her list of accolades along the way.
Emily credits her parents and coaches for helping her reach these goals.
“I definitely have to thank my parents as my dad has always helped me with fundamentals and my mom is always supporting me in everything I do,” Emily stated. “My coaches also play a huge role in my success as they always give great advice.”
“She used to attend every junior high practice while her dad was coaching in Chariton,” her mom mentioned. “She had 5 years of junior high practice before she was even in junior high herself.”
Emily also noted she has put in a lot of time working on off-season shooting throughout the years, acknowledging hard work can pay off.
“I personally think basketball is a lot of mentality too,” she stated. “You can have a lot of fundamentals, but you have to stay calm in the moment too.”
While she is still celebrating her recent achievement, she still acknowledges softball remains at the top of her favorite sports list.
“My entire life it’s been close between basketball and softball as my favorite, but I think softball is still the top,” Emily said in closing. “I do tend to focus on the sport during the season and it takes the top spot.”
The 41-points from the East Union contest bring Jones total to 421 total points for her junior season to rank her 3rd across the State of Iowa in points scored and have her sitting in 1st in Class 1A and Pride of Iowa action.
Her 34 total 3-pointers this season put her in a 2-way tie for 1st place in the Pride of Iowa conference. She also currently leads the Pride of Iowa in free throws with 73.
Jones and the Lady Falcons were set to travel to Lenox the following evening before returning closer to home for their 1st game of the week. Wayne will play in Leon Feb. 2 taking on Central Decatur before returning back to their home court on Thursday, Feb. 4 for their final home regular season game of the year.