It’s no secret around Aberdeen High’s girls’ basketball team that good things often happen when Bre Jones touches the ball. Woodlawn found out the hard way Friday evening.
The sophomore center posted 24 points and 28 rebounds, leading the No. 6 Eagles to a 78-45 victory over Woodlawn in a non-league contest in Baltimore County. Jimmia McCluskey added 16 points and junior guard Nia Alleyne had 15 points and nine assists.
The Harford County school never trailed Friday, outscoring the Warriors, 31-6, over the final 12 minutes. Eagles’ coach Stacy Liles was impressed with her team’s mettle in its first tough road challenge.
“They played well in an up-tempo game” said Liles, whose team improved to 5-0. “I told the girls to get moving the ball and they executed that by the fourth quarter, getting the ball inside.”
“We were struggling in the first half so I knew I had to pick up the team’s intensity,” said Jones.
Holding a terse 34-33, Aberdeen went on a 13-2 run to open a 12-point lead. Jones powered in back-to-back baskets on the front end of the run, opening up the perimeter for Alleyne, who hit connected on baskets from the baseline and free throw line to close out the run.
Woodlawn got back to within striking distance at 47-39, but the Eagles went back to Jones, who drew a foul against Janelle Jones. Jones, the Warriors’ top post player and second-leading scorer, was given a technical foul for slamming the ball, ending her evening with five fouls.
The 6-foot-3 Jones closed the third with a basket and a free throw, giving Aberdeen a 53-41 advantage. The Eagles outscored Woodlawn, 23-4, in the fourth quarter.
“She’s gotten quicker running up and down the court,” Liles said of Jones, who’s in her second varsity season. “She’s making the easier inside shots.”
Jones has a strong basketball DNA. Both parents played collegiately at East Texas State (mother) and Mercer (dad), respectively. Brother Jared plays for John Carroll boys’ squad that’s currently unbeaten at 11-0 and ranked No. 7 by VSN.
“I tried playing other sports,” said Jones. “Basketball is just more fun.”
It wasn’t much fun for Woodlawn, which home debut was a debacle after opening the season with three road victories. Shadequa Longus led the Warriors with 22 points.
Warriors coach Vanessa Locke said the combination of Jones with the loss of Longus (stomach injury) briefly in the third quarter and Jones’ fouling out changed the complexion of the game.
“We just lost our composure after halftime,” said Locke. “It’s disappointing because Aberdeen is not 33 points better than us.
She [Jones] knows how to get to the basket. She does well with her back to the basket; she just powers up and releases the ball. It’s not that quick of a move but it’s solid.”
Jones is one of four starters back for Aberdeen, which will challenge defending state champs Fallston (Class 2A) and Joppatowne (1A) for supremacy in the UCBAC. The Eagles have bigger plans in mind.
“Our main focus is getting to states,” said Alleyne, a junior captain. “The talent’s always been there; we realized we have to play as a team.”
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|No. 6 Aberdeen 78, Woodlawn 45|
|Aberdeen: Alleyne 15, McCluskey 16, Stewart 11, Jones 24, Hayden 4, Moore 2, Holmes 4. Totals: 30 15-27 78.|
|Woodlawn: Lane 4, Longus 22, Dawson 2, Williamson 2, Brown 8, Sessoms 1, Loving 3. Totals: 16 9-20 45.|
|Halftime: Aberdeen 34, Woodlawn 31|