There are two distinct sides to newly minted girls basketball scoring queen Jessica Timmons.
Off court, the Independence High senior says she’s “really just a down-to-earth kid,” who likes to go shopping and loves Netflix (“Stranger Things,” “You” and “Criminal Minds” are among her favorites).
On the court, though, Timmons is fiercely competitive and one of the best players in Mecklenburg County history.
“I want to have that mentality to kill on the court,” she said. “I’m someone who likes to compete at everything.”
Last week, Timmons broke a 28-year-old Mecklenburg County girls basketball scoring record for public school players, passing former Garinger High and Tennessee star Tiffani Johnson. Johnson finished her career with 2,128 points, placing her 37th all-time among all N.C. public school players.
Former Providence Day star Konecka Drakeford scored more than 3,000 points in her career, from 1990-93, at the Charlotte private school. She is the overall Mecklenburg County record holder, for boys or girls.
“It’s a great feeling, knowing Tiffani and everybody else before in Charlotte,” Timmons said of her record. “There’s always been a good group of girls talent in this area. It’s something I’m extremely proud of, but I know I have to keep working.”
Independence coach Lauren Galvani marvels at how quickly Timmons, a 5-foot-9 guard, reached the record, and wonders if there was no COVID-19, how many points she might finish with.
Independence (5-2) will begin the N.C. 4A playoffs Tuesday at Northwest Guilford (7-1).
Most years, the Patriots would expect to have played between 24 and 26 games by this point in the season.
Timmons has 2,188 points, placing her at No. 30 among public school scorers. But at her current averages of 30 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals, Galvani can only imagine where Timmons might be. With 19 more games played at her current pace, she would have 2,758 points, 10th all-time.
“You just really don’t know how many more points she could score,” Galvani said. “But it’s a big deal for her to break that record … She just has a knack for scoring the ball and she adds something to her game every single year, and it’s going to be exciting to watch her play at N.C. State.”
Timmons said she got an offer from N.C. State in the eighth grade and developed a strong relationship with the coaching staff over the years. She ultimately reached a final five potential colleges of N.C. State, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, Boston College and Wake Forest, but the COVID-19 pandemic affected her ability to visit schools and meet coaches in person. That relationship with the Wolfpack staff, she said, made it easy to choose N.C. State.
Timmons played her first three seasons at North Mecklenburg and a was a three-time all-conference star. Over the summer, her mother moved into the Independence district, and when Galvani found out, she couldn’t help but be excited.
“It was crazy,” Galvani said, “just because she’s so well-known in the area and all over North Carolina, and to hear she was coming here was kind of like, ‘OK, that’s about 25 or 30 points per game.’ I’m like, ‘OK, that’s exciting.’ I knew she could score and her IQ is there and I think defensively she really shocked me a little bit. She’ll say, ‘I’m just OK defensively,’ but she’s not bad and it really shocked me how big a leader she is.”
But the best thing about the new scoring queen is, well, she can really score. She’s had as many as 47 points in a single game and has seen about every type of junk defense you can find. Yet, the nice girl off the court always seems to find her competitive scoring alter ego when she plays — and when the shots start falling, which is more often than not, they don’t seem to stop.
“That’s a really good feeling,” Timmons said. “Once you start getting the ball in the hoop and you feel like the rim is getting bigger and bigger and everything is starting to come together. Even if you miss a few, as a basketball player, you always know the next one will go in. You have to have that mindset.”
NCHSAA Playoffs Begin Tuesday
The N.C. public school state basketball playoffs begin Tuesday. Here are first-round western pairings
Green Hope (9-4) at Ardrey Kell (6-0); Hillside (10-3) at Harding (5-1); Glenn (9-2) at Page (7-1); Myers Park (5-2) at R.J. Reynolds (11-1); Jordan (8-5) at North Mecklenburg (8-0); Grimsley (6-2) at Panther Creek (12-1); Rocky River (6-1) at Hough (6-2); South Mecklenburg (4-2) at Independence (6-1)
Monroe (9-3) at West Rowan (12-1); Cox Mill (10-2) at A.C. Reynolds (10-4); North Iredell (11-2) at T.C. Roberson (11-3); Dudley (7-5) at Crest (13-1); North Buncombe (10-4) at Hickory (9-1); Charlotte Catholic (11-2) at Mount Tabor (11-2); Kings Mountain (10-4) at Central Cabarrus (11-1); Hunter Huss (9-4) at Weddington (13-0)
Ledford (8-3) at Hendersonville (12-0); Atkins (12-1) at West Stanly (11-1); Salisbury (8-4) at Mountain Heritage (11-0); West Caldwell (6-1) at Ashe County (10-3); Forbush (9-3) at North Lincoln (12-2); East Lincoln (11-3) at North Davidson (11-0); Shelby (13-1) at Patton (6-0); Forest Hills (10-2) at R-S Central (12-1)
Research Triangle Academy (7-3) at Mitchell County (8-5); Pine Lake Prep (14-1) at North Stanly (11-2); Murphy (10-4) at Lincoln Charter (12-1); Chatham Central (9-1) at Hiwassee Dam (8-4); Uwharrie Charter (9-3) at Starmount (9-5); Christ the King (10-3) at Mount Airy (11-3); Mountain Island Charter (12-2) at Chatham Charter (12-1); Winston-Salem Prep (8-6) at Hayesville (14-0)
South Mecklenburg (5-1) at Vance (7-0); Hickory Ridge (6-1) at Jordan (8-2); Independence (5-2) at Northwest Guilford (7-1); Ragsdale (7-1) at East Forsyth (12-1); Athens Drive (7-4) at Providence (6-0); North Mecklenburg (5-2) at Panther Creek (9-1); Lake Norman (9-1) at Myers Park (7-0); West Forsyth (10-3) at South Caldwell (6-6)
North Buncombe (11-3) at Freedom (9-0); Asheville (11-2) at Cox Mill (9-4); Hickory (8-2) at Northwest Cabarrus (11-2); Alexander Central (11-3) at Ashbrook (12-1); Kings Mountain (10-4) at Jesse Carson (14-0); Crest (10-4) at Cuthbertson (13-1); Charlotte Catholic (10-3) at Dudley (11-0); Southwest Guilford (8-2) at Enka (13-1)
Ledford (11-3) at West Stokes (11-0); Newton-Conover (14-0) at Pisgah (12-1); North Davidson (10-2) at Bunker Hill (7-0); R-S Central (10-3) at Forest Hills (10-1); Patton (5-2) at Salisbury (13-1); East Lincoln (10-4) at Shelby (14-0); North Surry (9-3) at West Wilkes (11-0); Wilkes Central (11-2) at Mountain Heritage (8-2)
Clover Garden (12-2) at East Surry (12-0); Chatham Charter (8-2) at Robbinsville (13-1); Uwharrie Charter (7-2) at Community School of Davidson (13-0); Murphy (12-2) at North Rowan (9-2); North Stanly (7-3) at Hiwassee Dam (8-4); Mountain Island Charter (9-2) at Mitchell County (13-0); Christ the King (8-5) at Elkin (6-6); Bishop McGuinness (8-4) at Bessemer City (8-4)
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