Burlington, OK 73722
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| Michael Swisher
Basketball has been a part of Jade Jones’ life as long as she can remember.
That’s not going to change anytime soon.
The point guard who led Pond Creek-Hunter to a state championship and set records at Northwestern Oklahoma State University now has a program of her own.
Jones was hired Tuesday to become the new girls basketball coach at Burlington High School. Her assignment was approved unanimously by the board of education during a special meeting.
“She’s got four starters back and a lot to live up to,” said Randy Turney, a hall of fame coach and Burlington’s athletic director who made the hire.
“But we’re excited to have her. She’ll do a great job.”
Jones takes over a program that’s been to the Class B state tournament six straight years under Kirsten Pruett.
Pruett recently resigned to coach girls basketball at Cherokee.
The beginning of Pruett’s string of state tournament appearances was the end of Jones’ high school career, one that culminated with her hoisting the Class A gold ball in 2014, giving Pond Creek-Hunter its only basketball title.
Lifting that trophy with her was her coach, Tasha Diesselhorst, also Turney’s daughter, who coached Jones since the sixth grade.
Standing nearby was Pond Creek boys coach Darin Jones, who just happens to be Jade’s dad and was her fifth grade coach after grooming her for the game all the years before.
In other words, she’s surrounded by basketball.
“I think I’ve had a couple of decent coaches to learn from along the way,” Jones said. “Without them, I wouldn’t think I’m ready to do this.
“But because of them, I think I’m ready.”
After guiding PC-H to a championship, Jones played two years under Kelsi Bond Musick at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
However, Diesselhorst was hired to turn around the NWOSU program and Jones knew she wanted to be a part of that with her and transferred.
After sitting out one season, Jones played two seasons for the Lady Rangers, wrapping up her career earlier this year.
All the while, Jones was absorbing the game from Diesselhorst.
“If I wasn’t playing or in practice, we were constantly talking basketball,” she said.
Turney, a mentor to his own daughter, was always nearby.
“After a game we’d talk about it,” Jones said. “Maybe you didn’t always want to hear what he was going to say, but you’d listen,” she said.
Jones said learning from those two and the staff at SWOSU, plus a lifetime of molding from her own father, will shape the kind of coach she plans to be.
“They all made an impact on me,” Jones said. “As I go into coaching, I’ll take different things from all those people.”
However, she didn’t know it would be this soon.
Jones was prepared to work with elementary teams at Drummond prior to the Burlington job opening up.
Turney, however, had different plans for her.
“If she’s paid attention to what she’s been taught since the sixth grade, she’ll be alright,” he said. “She’s been around it all her life. She’s done it all in high school and in college. Now it’s time for her to take the next step.”
Jones feels that step is the right one.
“I think Burlington is without a doubt a good fit,” he said. “I grew up in a small town playing basketball. Burlington is a small town and that’s all they do there.
“I like the fact that starting the first day, we can be playing basketball.”
* Photo credit Tim Billy.
| Ben Johnson
Medals and trophies have been handed out to wrestlers across the state. Now it’s time for basketball teams to start claiming hardware.
Ben and Michael dive into Class A & B state basketball tournaments on tap this week, and they guys also make their predictions in each class.
Ben breaks down what happened at the state wrestling tournament and some of the various highlights along the way.
Also added a new segment where the guys named their MVPs of the week. Listen in and find out who they dubbed as last week’s MVPs.
All that leading up to Michael's interview with Okarche coach Ray West. You don't want to miss what West had to say.
Thanks for listening & enjoy!
Have any feedback? Email the show at email@example.com
Girls Basketball | | Bruce Campbell | Enid News & Eagle
BURLINGTON, Okla. — Burlington’s girls hope to put history aside today when the 26-4 and No. 7-ranked Lady Elks face No. 3 Hammon (24-6) at 3:30 p.m. in the first round of the Class B state tournament at Yukon High School.
The Lady Elks are going to state for a school record fifth-straight time, but are trying to break a streak of four straight losses in the first round.
| Michael Swisher
While out trick-or-treating with my kids Monday night, I was having a discussion with some of the other parents in our group about my Halloween experiences as a kid.
I vividly remember always loving the houses that gave away homemade cookies, brownies, caramel apples and - especially - popcorn balls.
I was reminiscing and remembering the good ol’ days when people used to hand out these homemade treats and it really made Halloween special.
As my kids were about midway through the evening and collecting a ton of Halloween candy, all three of them came running back to me telling they were just given popcorn ball.
They all wanted to know what it was exactly and if it was good?
Is it good?!?!?!?!?!