Even though his team isn't going to this year's Minnesota high school boys state tournament this year, Tyus Jones is ending his prep basketball career on top.
The Pioneer Press Monday night named the Apple Valley senior its East Metro player of the year for an unprecedented third straight season. The title comes days after the top-ranked Eagles were derailed from their chance to win consecutive big-school state championships by Cretin-Durham Hall.
Jones scored 35 points, but Cretin-Derham Hall held off Apple Valley in Class 4A Section 3 championship play Thursday.
KSTP says Jones left the game with an injury with just a minute to play in overtime. Despite his eventual return, Apple Valley couldn't catch up to Cretin-Derham Hall after the team when on 14-3 run in the second overtime and led 87-77 with a minute to go.
Jones announced earlier this season that he was signing with Duke. He led Apple Valley to a 120-27 record in his five seasons as the team's starting point guard. The Eagles went 31-1 last year and finished this season at 27-2.
Jones told the Pioneer Press that the loss last week was a "real disappointment" and "somewhat of a letdown."
"I wanted to win one in my last year, but it wasn't meant to be," Jones told the paper. "It was a great opportunity to win one last year, something not everyone gets to experience."
This season, Jones averaged 25.6 points and 8.1 assists and led Apple Valley to a No. 13 national ranking. He finished his prep career with 2,909 points and 1,031 assists.