Dalonna Jones couldn’t believe she fell one block short of a triple-double on Tuesday night.
Merced High’s center, who stands 6-feet, finished with 12 points, 15 rebounds and nine blocks in a 47-34 win over Los Banos at Clemons Court.
Her reaction to hearing she came so close to a triple-double was priceless.
“Oh my gosh,” Jones said. “That was 10. You didn’t see that one? You should make it 10.”
Triple-double or not, it’s the type of effort the Bears (5-4) are going to need from their senior every night if they’re going to compete with Buhach Colony for a Central California Conference championship this season.
Jones disappeared in games earlier this season while she was on the floor. That changed this past weekend when she recorded three straight double-doubles in helping Merced go 2-1 at the Stagg Tournament.
“It’s something I’ve told her many times,” Bears coach Rob Pearce said. “There aren’t many centers and forwards who can keep up with her because of her athleticism. With her running and rebounding the way she’s capable of she’s a big lift for us.”
Jones had an impact on the game in the first half despite only scoring two points. The senior had seven blocks and eight rebounds to help Merced open up a 25-15 lead at intermission.
Jones looked to score more in the second half as she scored 10 of her 12 points.
“I was a bit more passive earlier in the year,” Jones said. “I wasn’t looking to do something. My focus is to go out and play every game the best I can. I know what I need to do. I have to play good defense and get boards. I want to go out with a bang my senior year.”
Merced’s defensive pressure made it a rough night for Los Banos (6-3). The Tigers turned the ball over 33 times and struggled getting into any thing close to a rhythm offensively.
“You can’t win any basketball games with 33 turnovers,” Tigers coach Danny Crosby said. “They were a little physical with us and created havoc for us. We weren’t able to get in our sets and run our offense.”
Jacquline Arretche led Los Banos with 14 points.
Lexi Thompson scored nine points for Merced. Teammates Oleachea Bowers and Simone Gilliam added eight points each.
“This was one of the better games we’ve played,” Pearce said. “It’s refreshing to see our girls go out there and just have fun.”
Golden Valley 41,
Camille Flores added 14 points for the Cougars (6-4).
Merced 58, Patterson 49