Five former Texas high school basketball players to watch in the 2024 women's Sweet Sixteen

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The state of Texas finished in a three-way-tie for most teams in the women's NCAA tournament with Tennessee and California at five apiece. One-seed Texas and five-seed Baylor are holding strong while the the Volunteer State has bowed out, but California still has Stanford, UCLA, and USC in. 

Nevertheless, there are plenty of Texas high school baskertball alumni to watch in this weekend's Sweet 16. Here's a breakdown.


F Taylor Jones, Texas, Dallas Christian School

Jones completes a fearsome front court for Texas with fellow forward and Aaliyah Moore. The fifth-year senior is second on the team with 12.4 points a game and leads the Longhorns wtih 6.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per night. She and Moore have stepped up their game after freshman forward Madison Booker moved to point guard for the injured Rori Harmon. Booker became the Big 12 Co-Player of the Year and the Longhorns are back in the Sweet 16 for the third time in four seasons under head coach Vic Schaefer.

Friday night's battle with four-seed Gonzaga in Portland, Oregon, is a return to Jones's old stomping grounds. She played three seasons at Oregon State and was a two-time All-Pac 12 honoree. She was a five-star prospect coming out of Dallas Christian School, where she led the program to two state championships and earned three All-Texas designations.

G Shay Holle, Texas, Austin Westlake

Shay Holle has accepted the "Iron Woman" title that Rori Harmon assumed last season and through the early part of this year before tearing her ACL. Holle leads the Longhorns with 32.1 minutes played a game, and took over for Harmon defending the opponent's primary ball handler. The senior has set career high averages in points (7.4), rebounds (2.7), and assists (2.0). Head coach Vic Schaefer has desribed Holle as the 'glue' for the team. She's one of two players, along with senior forward DeYona Gaston, left from Schaefer's original 2020-21 team.

Holle was a three-time 6A all-state selection and two-time District MVP over her career at Austin Westlake. She's now excelling athletically at Texas like her father, Eric, did from 1980-83 on the football team.

G Ashlon Jackson, Duke, Hardin-Jefferson

Duke was on the ropes down 37-28 at halftime to Richmond, but four three-pointers from Ashlon Jackson and 25 points from Reigan Richardson ensured the Blue Devils keep on dancing into the Sweet 16. Duke, a seven-seed, is the lowest seeded team standing in a chalky women's bracket. They'll face three-seed UConn on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Jackson is averaging 28 minutes a game after coming off the bench as a freshman last season. She was a McDonald's All-American who led Hardin-Jefferson to three-straight state tournament appearances. 

G Jules LaMendola, Indiana, Coppell

After making the NCAA tournament just six times in 38 years, Indiana has participated in March Madness four consecutive seasons under Teri Moren. On a team stacked with guards, freshman Jules LaMendola is playing key reserve minutes. 

LaMendola was a transcendant player at Coppell, leading the program to its first state tournament in school history and first district championship in 11 years as a senior. She earned the 2023 Texas Gatorade Player of the Year. Four-seed Indiana has a tough matchup with one-seed South Carolina Friday at 4:00 p.m.

G Sarah Andrews, Baylor, Irving MacArthur

Andrews has been a beacon of consistency for Baylor, starting 98 games over the last three seasons, the only player with more than two years of experience in Waco. She rehabbed a foot injury over the offseason and overcame a mid-season shooting slump. Now, she's peaking at the right time. Andrews had a career night to propel the Lady Bears into the Sweet 16, scoring 28 points in a 75-72 victory over Viriginia Tech. Baylor has now won two tournament games for the first time under head coach Nicki Collen.

Andrews was the nation's No.2-ranked point guard according to ESPN's Hoopgurlz coming out of Irving MacArthur. She was a three-time all-state selection as a sophomore through senior. Fifth-seed Baylor plays one-seed USC on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

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