Jones chooses the Salukis

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Jones chooses the Salukis

Senior Lance Jones blows by the Maine South defender on his way to the hoop.

Senior Lance Jones blows by the Maine South defender on his way to the hoop.

Jonah Charlton

Senior Lance Jones blows by the Maine South defender on his way to the hoop.

Jonah Charlton

Jonah Charlton

Senior Lance Jones blows by the Maine South defender on his way to the hoop.

Chris Werner, Sports Editor

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Lance Jones, who has helped lead ETHS to back-to-back final fours, will play his college basketball in Carbondale for the SIU Salukis.

By choosing SIU, Jones turned down offers from other schools in pursuit of his talents including University of Alabama at Birmingham, Western Illinois University, Illinois State University and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“I decided on SIU because they were loyal and stayed with me throughout the whole process,” Jones said. “Their loyalty attracted me to them and made my decision easier.”

Jones also garnered interest from schools that have more well-known basketball programs, including multiple Big Ten universities.

Jones’ maturation over his time at ETHS has been pivotal to the Kits recent success.

“Lance has grown up a lot in these last 3 years,” coach Mike Ellis said. “Our team isn’t playing for the state championship at the final four down in Peoria last season without Lance’s growth and development.”

The 6’2” guard was one of the team’s most vocal and passionate leaders during both runs to Peoria. And the team’s leading scorer for the past two seasons.

He scored a combined 39 points in the Kits two games at the state finals and averaged 16 points per game during his senior season.