Ferriday Lady Trojan turning heads on court

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – The only sophomore jinx in Ferriday afflicts the Lady Trojans’ opponents.

Although only a sophomore, 5-foot-9 Monique Jones is a force on the court, averaging more than 24 points and 12 rebounds a game. She’s shooting 48 percent from the field and 82 percent from the line.

And she’s still learning.

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&uot;She’s probably the most coachable young lady I’ve ever come into contact with,&uot; said Ferriday coach Lisa Abron. &uot;She’s got the skills to play at the next level right now. But she’s still fine-tuning her game.&uot;

Jones admits she has some areas to develop before she graduates to the college level – namely her quickness.

&uot;I’ve put it in my mind that this summer I’m going to get faster,&uot; she said. &uot;Jumping rope, running sprints, whatever it takes. I’m going to work very, very hard to improve.&uot;

Playing at a Division I college is one of her goals, but not her ultimate one – she’s shooting for the pros.

&uot;When I watch them play professional ball on TV and I see how good they are, it makes me want to work very hard to get where they are,&uot; Jones said.

Jones has already had to work hard to get where she is now – a team leader at the tender age of 15.

&uot;(The team) looks up to me now, but it was something I had to earn,&uot; she said. &uot;Last year I was a freshman and they were all juniors and sophomores. But since I moved up a notch it’s a different situation.&uot;

The entire team is in a different situation now that Jones’ abilities are common knowledge.

&uot;When we started beating tough teams last year, they started taking notice of her,&uot; Abron said. &uot;Now other teams know they have to stop her to beat us.&uot;

But when other teams focus on Jones, Abron said, it opens up the offense for the rest of the team.

&uot;Last year, the offense was geared more toward her,&uot; Abron said. &uot;This year everybody has the option to shoot. And our girls can shoot.&uot;

That’s obvious, as the team is currently 14-9 and has an Associated Press ranking of No. 16 in the state.

But Jones plays the game for the fun of it.

&uot;I like playing against different people with different talents,&uot; she said. &uot;I love competition.&uot;