Arnold’s Karen Jones scores 45 in Marlins win, sets new school career scoring mark

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 10:49 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Arnold senior Karen Jones is now the leading all-time scorer in Arnold girls basketball history.

Jones began Tuesday night’s home game against Bozeman just 14 points shy of the school mark held by Joanne Booker, who racked up 1,424 points over her Arnold career. So Jones needing 14 to tie that record, and 15 to set a new one.

It was obvious from the start Jones was bent on setting the new record on this night against the Bucks. After starting with a point on a free throw, she scored on three layups, and off an inbounds pass to get her to 7 in the first quarter. She would end the quarter with 9. Then in the second quarter a layup got to her 11. Then another layup put her at 13, and seconds later, after her Arnold teammate Katrina Rhodes forced a midcourt turnover, Jones took the loose ball, weaved around two defenders and scored two more on a layup. That giving her 16 in the game, and broke Booker’s record.

Jones took a long minute to hug her coach and teammates, and then went to midcourt to acknowledge family and friends and other fans who were cheering loudly in support!

Karen finished the game with 45 points, so the new school record is 1,455 and counting. And oh by the way, the Marlins won the game 69-43, taking their record to 5-2.

A day after setting the record, Karen said she feels like a weight has been lifted off her shoulders and she can now just go out and play.

“Oh, I knew that I had to break the record and honestly, I was just trying to focus on winning the game. First and I knew the points would come later. Yeah yeah I was definitely counting down each point in my head just waiting for the magic to happen. It was great it was like a huge accomplishment, a huge relief because I was so nervous about it but once I got those two points, I knew I could relax and celebrate and enjoy the moment.”

Coach Woolf said the recorded really epitomized the player Jones is.

“1400 points is a lot of points, I mean that’s a lot of points. To average 20 a game, north of 20 points a game for four consecutive seasons , and those that watch us, keep up with our program and the games here, Karen gets double or triple teamed for large percentages of the game time. And so she’s just an incredible person and an incredible athlete. And to be there last night to see that accomplishment come full circle was great.”

And while in the record book it’ll only be Karen’s name written, she knows it wouldn’t have been possible without her outstanding teammates.

“They’re super important, of course I can’t win a game by myself. For every point I score someone has to assist it. They were all just really excited for me and they were feeding me the ball, they wanted me to get it so bad. So I’m so happy to have such a wonderful group, we all lift each other up and want the best for each other.”

Coach Woolf says Jones isn’t done yet, she’s still got bigger fish to catch.

“We had a conversation when she was a freshman, and it was probably 10 games into the season, she’d been averaging 20 or 21. And I said you know if you are capable of doing this for four years, that record will fall. And we’re still very early into her fourth year. And she has already accomplished that. She’s very close to the boys all time record here so she’ll be the leading score for the Arnold Marlins!”