Apple Valley junior leads team to overtime win against Panthers
Junior Tyus Jones became Apple Valley’s all-time leading scorer on Tuesday night in a 79-75 overtime victory at Lakeville North with 1,739 points.
He said he was humbled by the record considering he broke former teammate Tom Schalk’s record, with whom he played with during his eighth- and ninth-grade seasons.
“He made my job a lot easier because he was an unbelievable scorer,” Jones said. “He was a big part of my success. He was a leader. Someone I could look to and help me get used to the varsity system.”
Schalk is currently a sophomore forward with Division I men’s basketball team at William & Mary in Virginia.
Scoring isn’t always Jones’ primary focus. Jones broke the school assist record nearly a year ago in a game against Eagan on Jan. 17, 2012.
“We have a good group of guys, so I can distribute and set guys up,” Jones said. “I’m taking what the defense gives me.”
On Tuesday night Apple Valley built a healthy double-digit lead in the second half, but the Panthers chipped it to 65-65 in the final two minutes to send it to overtime. There, Jones took over scoring nine of his 22 points.
Jones has been dealing with injuries recently, but he’s getting close to full strength.
He sat out a three games with a back injury, but once that started feeling better he sprained his ankle missing another game.
“A win makes it feel a lot better,” Jones said. “That back injury is pretty much healed up. That ankle injury is nagging me, but I’m getting close.”
He played nearly the entire game against Lakeville North, which went into overtime, knowing the magnitude of the South Suburban Conference match.
The Panthers came in ranked No. 10 in Class 4A, the only other team in the conference in the top 10, and undefeated in the South Suburban.
“They’re a great team and they have a great crowd,” he said. “We’re getting every opponents’ best shot. You just have to take it as something to get better from. They went on their runs, but we did a somewhat good job of containing them.”