By Tyler Trumbauer
Four-year varsity basketball starter. Multi-year varsity soccer starter. Multi-year field hockey starter. All achievements on Northwestern Lehigh’s Sara Jones’s résumé. There is now one more line that can be added to the senior’s laundry list of accomplishments: Scoring 1,000 career points.
In the first quarter of an away game against William Allen High School on January 2, Jones drained a three-pointer to score her seventh point in the game and put her at 1,001 career points. Her jumper from beyond the arc made her the sixth female in Northwestern girls’ basketball history to accumulate 1,000 points in their high school career.
After the basketball trickled through the twine, the referees and Allen High School officials halted the game for a ceremony honoring Jones’ impressive feat. They allowed photo opportunities and ushered her parents onto the court. Allen players gave Jones congratulatory cards with a game ball and balloons. That outstanding display of sportsmanship resonated with Tigers’ head coach, Chris Deutsch, “What the Allentown School District, their Athletic Director [Scott Cooperman] and their basketball coach [Tom Gallagher] did was second to none. It was first class. It was a big night for Sara and her family. What Allentown [School District] did was a big difference and we really appreciate that.”
Even though Sara was able to celebrate as soon as it happened, she says it didn’t sink in immediately, “It really hit me after the game. A lot of people were congratulating me and when I looked up in to the stands everyone was standing and applauding for me.” Jones continued, “People that I wouldn’t expect to come. Friends, not just my close friends, were there. It is great to see how much support I have.”
Jones’ talent has allowed her to be a starter at the varsity level since her inaugural year at Northwestern Lehigh High School. During those years she has seen the Northwestern girls’ basketball program at its’ lowest and highest points. She endured the years with losing records and relished becoming relevant in the Colonial League again last winter.
If you broach the topic of her stardom with her, she will remain modest, but Deutsch praised Jones’ skills on the hardwood in a phone interview, “In my opinion, she is the best player in our league right now. I think she is one of the best players in the area. Her leadership qualities are unbelievable. Girls really look up to her and that makes a big difference on our team. She does everything for our team.”
The standout senior is the most recent girl to join the 1,000 points club at Northwestern. She is on pace to be the all-time leading scorer in Northwestern girls’ basketball history as the current leader, Dana Stellar, dropped 1,110 points in her career. However, Jones told me that she isn’t even thinking about that as the team’s success is of the utmost importance.
Jones’s fantastic senior season may turn out to be her best one statistically in her high school career. However, she isn’t worrying about that, as her stand out season is on the back of one of the best starts in Northwestern’s girls’ basketball history.
The lady Tigers are off to a very impressive start. As of print-time they possessed a 12-0 overall record with a 8 – 0 mark in the colonial league. They are doing it mostly on the defensive side of the ball as in those first 12 games they have only allowed more than 36 points twice.
Jones admitted, while breathing a sigh of relief, that with a playoff run inevitable, she is happy she already got to 1,000 points, “This is an honor and I’m glad I got it, but it is nice to know that it is out of the way. There is nothing individual left in the season. Now we can focus on what our goals are and how we can achieve them.”