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Jones becomes one of the greats

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By Mickey Patterson

CRESTWOOD – In the short list of great basketball players from Oldham County, Lauren Jones has placed her name smack dab in the middle of it. Jones, a 5-foot-9 senior guard at South Oldham High School, is coming to close of one of the best all-around hoops careers in the county’s history. “It’s kind of weird to think it’s going to be over soon,” Jones said. “There are still a lot of things to accomplish as a team. Winning the region is the number one goal.” Jones recently shattered the SOHS career scoring record and now has 1,976 points, well ahead Ashley Trosper’s 1,754 points. “I knew I had a shot to get it this year but didn’t realize it until my mom told me,” Jones said. “It’s not something I ever really thought a lot about, but it’s a nice honor.” A member of the varsity as an eighth-grader, Jones became a starter for the Lady Dragons in her freshmen season and has started every game. She has led the Lady Dragons to a 20-5 record this year and SOHS is a regional contender again after falling to Shelby County in the regional finals last year. Jones is averaging 20.5 points a game this year in addition to nearly five rebounds a game. She is the state’s leading free throw shooter at 88 percent. Career wise, Jones has made her mark in other areas besides scoring. She is tied for third in career steals withKendi Taylor with 241. Jones ranks fourth in all-time rebounds with 520 and will likely pass Shannon Hunt who has 524. Jones is also 11th in assists with 134, just one assist behind Taylor. “I have never had a player who has had such prolific stats as Lauren does in boys or girls,” SOHS coach Frank Wright, a 28-year veteran of coaching, said. “She has been a unique player and a real pleasure to coach.” A gym-rat, whose parents Joyce and Keith, are SOHS assitants, Jones has signed with Division I Austin Peay University to play in college. Her numbers have come long hours spent in the gym since her youth. “It’s pretty impressive since Lauren is not a naturally gifted athlete and she will be the first to tell you that,” Wright said. “Whatever she has done goes back to a lot of hard work and I mean a lot of hard work.” For her part, Jones a three-time all-region selection and candidate for regional player of the year this season, has eschewed individual honors in favor of team goals. “She’s a tremendously humble kid off the court and on the court wants the team to do well,” Wright said. Jones thinks the Lady Dragons are on the right track to the program’s first regional title since 1998. “We’re doing pretty good, we have a 20-win season which was one of our goals,” Jones said. “I think we’re right on the brink of being really good. It was almost kind of a good thing we didn’t win the region last year because it has made us want it that much more this year.” From a personal standpoint Jones is fairly pleased with her season. The choice to go to Austin Peay also relieved a lot of pressure. “It’s had it’s ups and downs,” Jones said. “I am glad I made my college decision early so I could focus on the season. My main goal this year has been us, as a team getting to the state tournament. We’re a little more experienced and we know where we need to be on the court. We’ve done everything but win the region and it’s definitely something we can do. That would be the best way to end our high school career.”

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