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GIRLS' PREP BASKETBALL: Jones, Adams prep for All-Star games (06/11)

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By Nathaniel Bryan

 

By NATHANIEL BRYAN nbryan@thenewsenterprise.com INDIANAPOLIS After four seasons of having to find ways to slow down Alex Jones, Hart County High School girls’ basketball coach and longtime Hardin County resident Tommy Adams is glad to be on the good side of the former Elizabethtown standout center. “Alex is a sweetheart. I really enjoy coaching her and I told her I was glad I was on the right side for a change because I’ve fought against her for years and she’s beat our heads in,” Adams said. “I think she’s really going to stand out Saturday and Sunday. She’s hard worker and she’s relentless. She’s doing the same thing up here that she’s done for E’town for four years.” Adams is the assistant coach for Jones’ Kentucky Senior All-Stars, who play their Indiana counterparts Saturday at Indianapolis’ Conseco Fieldhouse and Sunday at Louisville’s Bellarmine University in the Anthem Kentucky/Indiana All-Star Classic. The All-Stars have been practicing since Saturday in preparation for their annual two-game series against the Hoosiers. Of the 12 players on the Kentucky roster, eight of them were on a team which beat an Ohio All-Star group a few months ago at Thomas More College in Northern Kentucky. “It’s a little easier because we already know a little bit about how each other plays so we don’t have to waste time figuring that out,” said Jones, who was the Kentucky MVP of the Ohio All-Star game. “All of us get along pretty well. I really like the girls on the team and we’re starting to get to know each other better.” The All-Stars tuned up for the games with a win Tuesday night against Adams’ Junior All-Stars at Georgetown College. While offense seems to come naturally for the All-Stars, Jones said a big key has been her team’s defensive improvement each day. “I think one of the toughest things has been to get everyone on the same page defense wise, but our defensive intensity from the first practice until now has gotten a lot better,” Jones said. This past winter, Jones led Elizabethtown to a spot in the state tournament championship game and was a unanimous first team All-State selection by The Associated Press as well as two different coaching panels. Jones, an Eastern Kentucky University signee, said her choice of a college hasn’t made any difference in the way she plays even though teammates Ashley Rainey (Warren East High School, Louisville signee) and Adia Mathies (Louisville Iroquois, Kentucky) signed with schools in BCS conferences. “Some people think that defines who you area as a player, but I think I’ve more than held my own so far,” Jones said. As an assistant coach this season, Adams is getting an idea of what 2010 will be like when he’s the head coach. He said it’s been a whirlwind of a last few days. “They’ve been hectic and quick. We’ve got a lot of work done and we’ve got a lot of work to do. But it has been fun,” he said. “It has been wild. We have two or three practices every day and we’re in a different place every day. It’s been an experience.” An experience both he and Jones hope ends with a victory or two this weekend. Nathaniel Bryan can be reached at 505-1758