Autumn Jones ready to take charge for Tinley Park

Autumn Jones ready to take charge for Tinley Park

By: Tony Baranek Chicago Tribune Daily Southtown

Tinley Park has an effective inside and outside game with 6-foot-4 senior Emily Kleffman and junior guard Autumn Jones.

But when the inside component isn’t there?

 “I’m not afraid to step up for my team and calm everybody down,” Jones said. “I run, jump high, get the rebounds and be tough.”

Jones was tough on both ends of the floor in Monday’s 48-44 victory over Oak Lawn.

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The Titans were in a difficult situation early when Kleffman got into foul trouble and had to spend much of the game on the bench.

 “We usually use her a lot,” Jones said. “When she’s down there and ready and focused, she likes to get the ball. We need that because a lot of people are shorter than us. We like to feed her the ball.”

With Kleffman out, Jones attacked. She went to the free-throw line four times in the first half, hitting 7 of 8 shots.

She also burned the Spartans on several occasions with stop-and-pop shots.

“I like the midrange pull-ups,” Jones said. “I feel like nobody can stop me when I get into the middle.”

Jones finished with one of her best efforts of the season, scoring 19 points and pulling down 13 rebounds.

Jones and Kleffman have been running in tandem for the Titans at the top of the scoring chart.

“Autumn is not afraid of anything,” Tinley Park coach Ryan Honan said. “She has really developed a good feel for the game. She’s one of our better ones at finding Emily when she drives.

"She's a really good driver, too. She's quick, and she can go by a lot of people. She's strong enough to finish when she gets there."

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