ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - Fifty points.
It's not an easy number to reach at any level of basketball. So when Alexis Tolefree scored a career-high 50 points in JCJC's 98-74 win over Copiah-Lincoln in the Region 23 championship, she opened some eyes.
"My teammates set me up really well," Tolefree said. "They just got me the ball when I was open and they made it easy for me to score."
"One, she has a unique confidence about her," said JCJC head coach Missy Bilderback. "She just always believes the ball's going in. I think what's special about her, the bigger the moment, the better Lex is. In our state and region, last year in the national tournament, she played exceptional. I think that speaks a lot for just her competitive spirit."
Tolefree's 50 points is the second-most ever scored by a Lady Bobcat. Tanecka Carey scored 53 points against Copiah-Lincoln on February 18, 2011.
An Ole Miss commit, Tolefree leads Jones County Junior College with 21.4 points per game. The sophomore from Conway, Arkansas is potent from beyond the arc – hitting 12 of her 22 three-point attempts against Co-Lin.
While some of Tolefre's 30-foot jumpers make coach Bilderback wince, they find the bottom of the net often enough.
"Being so little, I had to deepen my range a little bit," Tolefree said. "You play some big girls sometimes. I did it in high school and I just felt like it would be the same [in junior college]."
"I think she challenges you as a coach," Bilderback joked. "I just have to trust her. There are some of those that she shoots that you're thinking, 'That needs to go.' She definitely has a unique ability to make shots. When you have a great player I think the worst thing I can do as a coach is handcuff her or hold her back. Just let her be her and let her play."
JCJC will certainly need Tolefree's "A" game in the NJCAA Tournament. The four-seeded Lady Bobcats face Trinity Valley on Wednesday at 1 p.m.