St. Joseph’s Jones again making her mark on the court

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 | 8:54 PM

Alex Jones was first off the bench for the St. Joseph girls basketball team last year, but coach Sally Ackerman looked at her as another starter.

“Last year, I told people that if I could've started six players, I would've started her,” Ackerman said. “When Alex came in, she was a spark and her versatility changed what kind of team we were. I could sub her for anybody at any position. She's still playing all of those spots but in a regular starting role.”

Jones, a 5-foot-9 senior guard, has taken her increased role as a starter to heart and has produced in a number of areas.

She has increased her points-per-game average four points to 14.8 this season, second on the team only to fellow senior Chloe Kurpakus (19.9).

She hit for a season-best 24 in the season-opening rout of Highlands on Dec. 8 and added 19 in a 71-65 nonsection victory over rival Serra Catholic three days later.

Jones scored 19 in a win over Jefferson-Morgan on Dec. 18.

St. Joseph is 5-6 overall and 0-2 in Section 3-A play. The Spartans host Imani Christian (2-8, 0-3) on Thursday and Clairton (5-5, 1-1) on Friday.

“Alex's also taken on some point guard responsibilities because I needed that type of person who can get a play started and get things working or simply drive to the basket herself,” Ackerman said. “I needed that to happen to get some of our other plays to work.”

In addition to her propensity to score points, Jones has put up an average of 6.9 rebounds and team-bests in assists (4.5) and steals (4.6).

“Scoring points is a nice thing, but getting rebounds, not being the tallest girl out there, is what I take pride in, along with the assists and my defense,” Jones said.

Jones sees the potential in this year's team to make a run like it did last year when it won 15 of its last 19, topped No. 3 Quigley Catholic in the quarterfinals and qualified for the PIAA tournament.

“The way we push each other in practice gives us the confidence, no matter what has happened in games,” Jones said. “We have to play with confidence all four quarters and put it all together.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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