FISHERSVILLE – Jordan Sondrol spent a little extra time this summer working on her 3-point shooting.
It gave the Wilson Memorial senior’s game another dimension. And while her coach, Jackie Bryan, encouraged Sondrol’s work on the outside game, she also reminded her often that the place she would be needed most this season was in the paint.
Sondrol listened. She took more than 80 percent of her shots inside the 3-point arc, but she still shot 64 3s this year — making 24 of them — and became enough of an outside threat that opponents had to respect that aspect of her game, making her a bit of a matchup nightmare for opposing coaches.
“If you put a big defender on her, she would step out and hit the 3 or drive by them,” said Buffalo Gap’s Phillip Morgan, who watched Sondrol light up his Bison for 31 points in late January. “If you put a guard on her, she would take them into the post and score. She was a mismatch problem.”
Sondrol finished the season with the highest scoring average among local players at 16.1 points per game. She had 10 games where she scored more than 20 points. The 31 against Gap was her career high, bettering her previous mark by one.
“She really became, more so than any other year, our go-to offensive player,” said Bryan.
Sondrol, the News Leader’s All-City/County Offensive Player of the Year, shot 43.9 percent from the floor this season, the highest percentage on the team for players that played more than five games, and finished with 6.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.
She knew rebounding, especially on the offensive end, would be important this year with the loss of Leara Shumate from last season’s team. So over the summer she focused on getting offensive rebounds and putbacks. Bryan emphasized the importance of staying low and it paid off.
“I got a lot of my points this year from easy buckets,” said Sondrol.
When Sondrol was asked for a local defensive player who gave her problems this year, she paused before saying she didn’t really know. That was followed by some nervous laughter, possibly because she didn’t want to appear arrogant, but let’s be honest — it’s not arrogance, just the truth. There weren’t many area players who could stop her one-on-one.
That’s why so many teams resorted to double teaming her, often leaving other Wilson players open. On a team that had a lot of offensive weapons, that usually didn’t work out well for the other team. Take away Sondrol, but someone else will burn you.
It also helped that Sondrol had a special connection with her point guard, Lexi Deffenbaugh. The two have played together for years, something easy to see on the court this season.
“Lexi was really good at recognizing when Jordan had the upper hand,” said Bryan. “She was able to feed her.”
Sondrol, who will continue playing basketball in college at Shenandoah University next season, finished her high school career with 1,241 points, made even more impressive when you consider that, although she was a member of the varsity team as a freshman, she didn’t start until part of the way through her sophomore year and didn’t play a whole lot that first season at Wilson.
“It was kind of discouraging because I didn’t fully understand at that point because I was young,” said Sondrol. “I definitely think that that’s what helped me my junior and senior years to realize I have to work for my spot more. I worked to get to that spot. Like it wasn’t just handed to me.”
John Spears coached Sondrol in AAU for a few seasons. The longtime youth sports coach and basketball official said Sondrol’s work ethic has always been evident, even when she was much younger. That’s a big reason she’s been a success.
“She is a great and special young lady,” said Spears. “I never can think of a time I had worry about her attitude. She gave me and the team 110 percent each practice day and in the games. I am extremely proud of her.”