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GIRLS PLAYER OF THE WEEK — All-around athlete: Sabine Pass’ Nevaeh Jones key part of defense

Nevaeh Jones comes from a family of basketball players. Her brother Jamyus plays for Lamar State College Port Arthur, and she herself has been playing since she was young.

“It runs in our family,” Nevaeh Jones said. “Everybody in our family plays basketball. So, it’s just a natural thing that comes to me.”

Basketball isn’t the only sport the sophomore guard plays at Sabine Pass High School. She also plays volleyball and tennis and runs track.

“She’s just a phenomenal athlete all around,” head basketball coach Cody Almond said. “It’s not just basketball. She helps every sport that we have majorly. And she’s just one of those athletes you have to start, you have to play in any sport.”

Jones made 19 points for the Sharks Friday in the 72–12 win over Galveston O’Connell. In the three games she’s played for the Sharks she’s scored 31 points, 10.3 points per game, with 2 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 6.3 steals and 1 block per game as well. The all-around athlete is this week’s The Port Arthur News Girls Player of the Week.

“She’s a hard worker,” Almond said. “She’s a volleyball player, she’s a track athlete, and that also helps with basketball. On the court, she’s fearless. She’s one of the fastest, one of the smartest girls I have. I mean, she plays hard, plays with a lot of hustle.”

Jones credits volleyball for bolstering her hustle and track for improving her speed. She’s played varsity since she joined as a freshman last year, and she says so far she hasn’t noticed too big of a difference in what she’s played before.

Jones is an integral part of the Sharks’ defense that has frustrated the teams they’ve played so far this season.

“She’s a wing player,” Almond said. “We run guards and posts, so she’s one of our three guards in our lineup. Our defense is pretty good, especially when her and the other guards are playing strong. She’s a really good, improved defensive player.”

The Sharks have kept their first three opponents, Bob Hope, Colmesneil and O’Connell, to under 30 points, while making over 60 points per game for themselves.

Almond says the team is young but plays hard and takes advantage of their defensive edge.

“We’re starting off 3-0,” he said. “That’s a first time in a while. We’re young, freshmen and sophomore heavy. We haven’t really had a close game yet and that’s in part because of our defense.”

Against O’Connell, Jones says keeping pressure on the ball and staying quick on their feet was the strengths of their defense, but the Sharks still need to work on shooting.

“At the beginning, I felt like we let them shoot too much, too many easy shots,” she said. “We started off slow, but as it went on we started getting better and better on defense and offense. I think, if we stay as a team how we are now, we’ll be really good in the future.”

Jones and the young Sharks team will face High Island on Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. Almond says the Sharks played the Cardinals last year twice and lost both times. He’s confident about his team this season, though.

“We’re hoping for a better outcome this year, especially with our new team and our new look,” he said. “I anticipate a better game than the games we’ve had so far.”