By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Saturday night dozens of spectators, coaches and players were in the Munford Gymnasium watching the host Munford Cougars taking on the Memphis Metro Home School Mustangs.
But one person involved in the game was in the zone. Munford senior Nigel Jones entered another atmosphere in the third and fourth quarter scoring 17 points helping the Cougars obtain a 50-34 victory.
“I felt he couldn’t guard me or stay in front of me,” Jones said of the opposing guard. “I was just in a zone. It’s bliss. It’s hard to explain.”
The Cougars jumped out to a 9-0 lead after the first quarter. The Mustangs came to life in the second quarter with 11 points to trail 21-11 at the break.
MMHS continued to rally with a 9-2 run to start the third quarter. With Butch Hopkins Cougars only ahead 23-20, Munford stopped the Mustangs’ momentum with a Queyon Mills steal leading to a layup.
Then Jones took over the game. The senior guard started with a three-pointer that made the score 30-20. Seconds later Jones followed with another triple.
After a pair of foul shots from Jones, the guard put the ball on the floor driving to the rim for a bucket. Munford was ahead 37-21 entering the fourth quarter.
Jones got other teammates involved to start the fourth quarter locating center Chris Phelps for a layup to make the score 39-21. Jones noted teammates like Phelps have been maturing throughout the course of the season helping Munford win games like the MMHS contest.
“Deon (Banks) is doing well,” he said. “I like what Dominique (Bell) is doing. My job is to help them come along. And Mills, he’s a junior, is doing good. And this is really my first year of playing varsity. I’m learning it’s a whole lot faster and I have to step up my game.”
Jones appeared to be the quickest on the floor Saturday night driving to the rim for two more layups in the fourth quarter. And his three-pointer made the score 48-29 in favor of Cougars.
“I have to score the ball,” Jones concluded. “That’s my role on this team.”