Kaylee Jones’ decorated basketball career at Pillow Academy will likely be cut short before the senior star has a chance to defend the Lady Mustangs’ MAIS Overall title.
An MRI revealed Jones suffered both a torn ACL and a torn meniscus during Pillow’s 63-58 loss to Leake Academy in Saturday’s North AAAA championship game. The Lady Mustangs were leading 19-15 when the Mississippi College signee went down midway through the second quarter with a non-contact injury.
Although the Lady Mustangs (21-4) are waiting until Jones sees a doctor later this week to officially rule her out for the remainder of the playoffs, the prognosis appears grim. Jones was averaging a team-high 12.1 points while shooting an efficient 39% from beyond the arc.
The good news is that if any squad is built to withstand the loss of its top scorer, it’s Pillow. The Lady Mustangs may no longer be favorites to repeat at the Overall tournament, but their deep bench figures to keep them in contention this postseason.
Senior forward Kayla Brown offers experience as well as a steady inside presence off the bench. Junior guards Madeline Mattox and Georgia Caroline Self scored in double figures during last Friday’s semifinal victory sparked by the second unit. And fellow junior Sarah Presley Howard stepped up on Saturday along with her younger sisters, twin freshmen Avery and Elise, who put Pillow’s bright future on display.
No. 2 scorer Caroline Brock showed her ability to take over a big game (18 points, four rebounds) in the absence of Jones last weekend. But the Lady Mustangs will need to rely more on their role players moving forward to avoid Brock shouldering the extra offensive burden by herself.
Pillow has been kept out of the gym this week due to the weather, but the team hopes to return to practice on Thursday.
• Contact Riley Overend at 581-7237 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @OverendOut on Twitter.