By Will Nations
COLUMBUS — The Shannon Red Raider supporters were verbal in the New Hope High School gymnasium. The fans urged their defense to prevent West Point’s “No. 2” from getting the basketball in his hands.
Shannon, though, had few answers for the Green Wave point guard, A.J. Jones, as the green and white’s floor general was the key cog in the final 16 minutes, leading West Point to a 72-56 win over the Red Raiders in the New Hope New Year Classic Saturday afternoon.
“Yeah, you just have to keep playing the game and leave the fans on the sideline,” Jones said about the boisterous fans.
After a 36-25 West Point intermission lead, Jones got the offense started in the first minutes of the third quarter, feeding two assists to Demarius Calvert for lay-ups – the Wave led, 40-28.
With 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Jones capped a 5-0 run with a perfect two-of-two visit at the free-throw line, giving West Point a 55-41 advantage before the final quarter. The run was timely after the Red Raiders trimmed the Wave’s lead to nine points with less than a minute remaining, 50-41.
The senior point guard finished the contest with 14 points, scoring six during the third quarter.
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