Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boys Basketball: Jones' Late Basket Lifts East St. Louis to First State Semifinal in 19 Years

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boys Basketball: Jones' Late Basket Lifts East St. Louis to First State Semifinal in 19 Years

Article excerpt

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. - Traeveion Jones saw everything unfold out of the corner of his eye.

"It was like a slow-motion dream come true," the East St. Louis senior guard said.

Jones watched as teammate Jashawn Anderson swiped the ball in the closing seconds of a tie game against Springfield Southeast on Tuesday night in the Class 3A Springfield Super-Sectional.

The 6-foot-1 sparkplug immediately headed down court.

Anderson hit him in stride with a perfect pass and Jones gently laid the ball in off the glass to lead the Flyers to a 56-52 win before 6,100 fans at the Springfield Convention Center.

East St. Louis (28-6) advanced to the state tournament for the fourth time in school history and the first since the Darius Miles-led team finished third in 2000.

The Flyers, who have won 17 of their last 18, advanced to face Peoria Manual (19-11) in a Class 3A semifinal at 1 p.m. Friday at Carver Arena in Peoria.

Jones' game-winner broke a 52-52 tie.

Senior standout Terrence Hargrove Jr., who had a game-high 22 points, hit a pair of foul shots with 1.9 seconds left to seal the school's biggest win in almost two decades.

"This team's been doing amazing things ever since the start of the season," East St. Louis coach Mark Chambers said.

The frantic ending Tuesday may have topped them all.

Southeast (30-3), which lost twice to Class 4A opponents, seemed content to play for the last shot as the clock ticked down.

But Anderson saw an opening and he took it. As guard Terrion Murdix drove to the basket, Anderson tipped the ball away with the flick of his wrist. He quickly found a streaking Jones, who was sailing toward the basket all alone in high gear.

"As soon as I got it away (from Murdix), I got it to (Jones) as fast as a could," Anderson said.

Jones took his time, wanting to make sure he made the most of the chance of a lifetime. …

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