Jaden Hobbs doesn’t have any scholarship offers yet. That will soon change.
Alva’s star player, only a sophomore, finished a remarkable scoring run in the Class 3A girls’ state tournament Saturday night.
The 5-8 guard scored 32 points to lead the second-ranked Goldbugs to a 49-40 victory over top-ranked Adair in the state title game at State Fair Arena.
She set a state tournament record for 5 on 5 girls by scoring 107 points in the Goldbugs’ three tourney wins. The previous record was 98 points by Howe’s Stephanie McGhee in 2004.
Hobbs scored 30 in Alva’s opening round win over Verdigris and 45 in the Goldbugs’ semifinal victory over Washington.
And on Saturday night, Adair coach Scott Winfield discovered what every other coach who has played against Alva already knows. Hobbs is hard to guard.
“She is tough to defend,” Winfield said. “She is a tremendous player.”
Adair kept chasing Hobbs with two players Saturday night to try and get the ball out of her hands.
It worked in the beginning, as Hobbs started slowly, only shooting 3 of 11 from the field in the first half and scoring just nine points.
But just like Friday night in Alva’s 63-62 semifinal win over Washington, Hobbs warmed up in the second half.
Adair led 20-18 at halftime but Hobbs responded in the second half by shooting 6 of 8 from the field, including 2 of 3 from behind the 3-point arc, and scored 23 of her team’s 31 second-half points.
“She is an unbelievable player and the best part about her is she is so humble,” Alva coach Eric Smith said. “She makes (her teammates) better. She doesn’t care about the points.”
Hobbs said she didn’t care about the scoring record.
“We got the win,” she said. “That’s all that matters. It’s every little girl’s dream to have a gold ball.”
Winfield said he tried several defenses “just trying to play games with her so she never knew what was coming. Anything we did, they had an answer for.”
Winfield called Hobbs the best player his Warriors has faced this season.
“The guard (Friday) night from Heritage Hall (Erika Wakefield, a Tulsa signee) is awfully good, but I think she (Hobbs is the best,” Winfield said.
Both teams finished the season with 28-2 records.
And the scary thing for Alva’s future opponents is the Goldbugs do not have a senior on the roster. And Smith said another good player will return from injury next season.
“We have chance to pretty dang good next year,” Smith said. “It could be scary, but we have to stay hungry and humble. That will be the motto for next year.”