Pictured at left is Jones County 8th grader Mallory Valburg. At center is the girls varsity team from last year and at right is 2023 Top Prospect, Jadyn Jensen…Both of these young gunz will be 9th-graders next year for Jones County.
By Rich Winter
Was visiting with Sacred Hoops Co-Director Jordan Long the other day. Asked him about some of the high schools he’s been working out. Long said that he and Sacred Hoops, West River boys 15-U coach Joe Hieb had already worked out the Jones County girls three times this summer.
There are teams across South Dakota that don’t get much publicity. The Jones County girls are one of those teams. A year ago the girls finished 1-19 with their only win coming against a fledgeling Iroquois program, 64-32.
Lots of folks just see the record (1-19), but if you look just a little closer Jones County has some young and up-and-coming talent that will easily move this squad into the mid-tier of Region 7B as early as next season.
Last year, 8th-grader Jadyn Jensen introduced region 7B to the storm that is coming. She averaged 14.7 ppg and hauled down 6.4 rebounds per game.
Fellow 8th-grader, Mallory Valburg stuffed the stat sheet like not a lot of 8th-graders do.
4.5 ppg. 3.5 rpg, 1.1 apg and nearly 3 STEALS per contest.
Five-foot-10 senior Emily Jacobs returns with an inside presence last year. She averaged 9 ppg and 6.4 rpg. Fellow junior, Lilli Moore saw significant minutes a year ago and averaged over 4 points per game.
There were no seniors on last years roster, and that means a ton of underclasswomen, 8th and 9th graders are going to be one year better with a ton of experience playing at the varsity level.
Like how the kids in Jones County are embracing these workouts. Long raved about their effort and intensity and really the heart and desire to get better.
This will be a team that we’ll be following this upcoming season to see just how much a summer of hard work paid off.