Even now, after 32 games this season, Mykia Jones is still surprised by how gifted her Millbrook teammates are.
Jones knows how strong a rebounder center Briana Day is. She sees the difficult passes guard Alex Tomlinson makes routinely.
Even her best friend on the team, forward Ryan Flowers, is averaging 15 points in the last six games.
“I’m honored to be on this team,” Jones said. “It feels good to be around people who are so talented.”
Jones herself is a quality player; it’s just that Jones knows she’s the newest member to join Millbrook (30-2), a team full of players who could start at other schools.
What’s new for Jones is that she and her teammates are headed for the NCHSAA 4A championship game.
Jones, a junior guard, transferred within the Cap Eight conference from Enloe to Millbrook this school year. Before adding Jones, coach Chris East already was returning five starters from last season.
And that group went to the state title game.
It wasn’t always easy, but East said the Wildcats have found a way to integrate another weapon.
“She’s become unselfish,” East said of Jones, who averages eight points and three assists a game.
“She’s all about the team.
“I think she meshes well with our kids who have been here before.”
At Enloe, Jones averaged 13 points. As a Wildcat, Jones has been willing to sacrifice points, playing time and the level of leadership she had at Enloe.
Plus, Jones didn’t want to be a selfish player who slowed Millbrook. She wanted to help the Wildcats get back to the championship game – and win the title this time.
“Coach East made me feel like I was already on the team even before we practiced,” Jones said.
What Jones brings to Millbrook is her speed, as one of the quickest guards in the state. Flowers said Jones also gives the Wildcats another player who can make 3-pointers and handle the ball against full-court pressure.
Flowers, a junior, was the first to know Jones was transferring schools. Two years ago, both Flowers and Jones played at Enloe as freshmen. After that season, Flowers left for Millbrook.
“We pretty much tell each other everything,” Flowers said. “I knew I wanted to play with Mykia in high school again.”
At first, Jones had difficulty coming off the bench for East. Then came the Feb. 10 road game at Enloe.
Even though the Wildcats won that night, Jones said her two-point performance against the Eagles was her personal low point of the season.
“I should’ve been doing more than what I was showing,” Jones said. “I was pressured to play so well that I took myself out of my game because I wanted to impress people.”
Since then, Jones has responded well. She understands she doesn’t have to score to be successful.
In Millbrook’s win over Sanderson on Wednesday, Jones made it a point to pass the ball to Flowers in the post. That led Flowers having a game-high 19 points. Jones also made three 3-pointers.
“I felt that spark between me and Ryan,” Jones said. “I felt like we finally showed what we are capable of.”
After the game, Jones couldn’t stop smiling. She realized she had done her part to get Millbrook one game closer to the ultimate goal.
“I haven’t been to the regionals since my freshman year,” Jones said then. “If we go to the state championship, I will be so excited.”