COLLINSVILLE - Senior forward Tyrius Jones had one of his best games of the season on Dec. 28 in the Redbirds' opener of the 38th Prairie Farms Collinsville Holiday Classic basketball tournament, scoring 19 points in Alton's 67-41 loss to Quincy at Vergil Fletcher Gym in the final game of the tournament's opening day.

Tyrius JonesJones is one of the team's most dependable players, is very versatile and can play anywhere on the court. He also provides senior leadership to the team, rallying his teammates when needed and also provides a spark to the Redbirds, doing whatever he can to help the team.

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For all of his efforts both on and off the court, Jones has been selected as an Auto Butler Male Athlete of the Month at Alton High.

Jones, who plays for head coach Dylan Dudley, helped spark a comeback in the second half after the Blue Devils took a big lead at halftime and the Redbirds kept battling throughout the entire game, never giving up. But it was the first half where Quincy took control of the game.

It's been a difficult season thus far for Alton, now 2-10 after the Thursday results. The team is still hanging tough and working hard in practice sessions, getting better. Jones feels that things are going well and is trying to help the team play a complete game.

"I feel pretty good," Jones said. "Like coach (Quail Townser, who ran the team in the opener in the stead of Dudley) said, we're just trying to get everybody to be a part of the program and play all 32 minutes."

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Jones sees his role on the club as one who is dependable and can play anywhere on the court where needed.

"Great teammates," Jones said. "I just need to be there for my teammates for whatever they need me to do. If they need me to score, I'll score. If they need me to play defense, I'll play defense."

Jones is also looking ahead to the Southwestern Conference schedule during the second half of the season, as the tournament will be a good setup for what lies ahead for the Redbirds.

"Yeah, I think it will," Jones said. "There's a lot of great talent here."

As far as goals for the remainder of the season, Jones has some very ambitious ones indeed.

"Get all of our wins back and win regionals," Jones said. "That's what I want to do. Win the championship. We just could show that we've got heart and we really want to play all 32 minutes. The fun's just getting started," he said with a smile.

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