Three-point specialist leads Jordan offense
Feb 04, 2019 11:35AM
● By Ron Bevan
Jordan’s Emily Moss drives the baseline in a recent girls basketball game. Moss, a junior, is the leading scorer for the Beetdiggers. (Ron Bevan/City Journals)
By Ron Bevan | [email protected]
A momentary lapse of defense is all Jordan’s Emily Moss needs to drive a dagger into the opposing team’s heart. One flick of the wrist and Moss, a junior, will most likely be burying a three-pointer from distance.
“She is an all-around player,” Jordan girls basketball coach Tallon Robertson said. “But it is her shooting that makes her stand out. She has such great form and control of the ball.”
Moss leads Jordan with 29 three-pointers through the first 15 games of the season, a huge mark when you consider the next closest Beetdigger is Sara Niumeitolu with five baskets from distance
“We have a lot of players that can score, but Moss is the most consistent,” Robertson said. “We always look for her to get open when we need some quick points.”
Jordan’s 2018–19 edition of girls basketball is led by four seniors, two that are starters and two that come off the bench and contribute. The seniors are Niumeitolu, Diera Walton, Melinda Mafile’o and Natalie Lewis.
Walton is considered the defensive specialist for Jordan, but is also a top scorer. Walton is second only to Moss in total points, averaging over seven points per game.
“Walton is very impressive on the defensive side,” Robertson said. “I always assign her to guard the other team’s best player because she can lock them down.”
Also in the starting lineup is Niumeitolu, one of the Beetdiggers’ guards. But just because she is on the perimeter doesn’t mean she doesn’t like to mix it up inside.
“She leads our team in rebounds even though she is a guard,” Robertson said.
Niumeitolu is also emerging as a leader for the team.
Although Mafile’o doesn’t start, Robertson uses her for times when the team needs a boost.
“Mafile’o is a smart player, but full of energy,” Robertson said. “We look to her when we need some extra energy. She hustles like crazy on both ends of the court.”
Lewis also comes off the bench and provides needed minutes on both ends of the court.
“Lewis is a solid defender and a very good rebounder,” Robertson said.
Jordan has two sophomores who have earned starting positions on the team. May Afoa and Karlei Monson have both cracked the starting five despite their young age.
Afoa handles the center position for Jordan, providing some height and rebounding inside.
“Afoa leads the team in blocked shots,” Robertson said. “More importantly, she does a lot of talking on the court, especially on defense. She is alerting the rest of the team to what may be happening that they haven’t seen.”
Robertson considers Monson his most consistent player.
“She handles the ball well and can dribble through any press the opposition throws at us,” he said.
The Beetdiggers have set a lofty goal for this season. Although Jordan hasn’t made it to the state playoffs in 10 years, Jordan is eyeing a trip to the playoffs as its reward for working hard.
But in a region that includes Timpview, Alta, Brighton and Corner Canyon, reaching the state playoffs is a daunting task for the Beetdiggers. Alta has been a state champion in the last 10 years, and Timpview made it to the championship game last season, losing to East.
“We are a very athletic team, and fun to watch,” Robertson said.