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Watch now: MacArthur's Quincenia Jackson has earned her place in the Generals' record books
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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

Watch now: MacArthur's Quincenia Jackson has earned her place in the Generals' record books

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DECATUR — When MacArthur girls head coach Sean Flaherty first saw Quincenia Jackson on the basketball court, he was head coach for Eisenhower and Jackson was going to be on his Panthers team that winter as a freshman.

"She played for me that summer and I was getting really excited about her," Flaherty said. "She had some rough spots as an incoming freshman but we knew she was going to be something special."

Jackson ended up transferring to MacArthur and four seasons later, Flaherty, now coach at MacArthur following the death of Generals coach Michael "Dubb" Williams, witnessed first-hand Jackson becoming MacArthur's all-time leading leading scorer, surpassing former teammate Jayda Dees' record of 1,385 points.

"It means a lot to me because Coach Dubb had been talking about me breaking records this season and, with a short season, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it, but it ended up happening," Jackson said. (Jayda) was a really good shooter and she knew the court well. Her (basketball) IQ was very smart."

After being honored as MacArthur's scoring leader on Tuesday, Jackson had 26 points and 17 rebounds against Springfield Lanphier. Both Jackson and Flaherty were surprised she had done so well, seemingly under the radar. 

"Q is a quiet assassin with a double-double every single game and you don't realize. She is a quiet leader and she leads by example. Her presence out there on the court, she's not emotional," Flaherty said. "If a team makes a run on us, I know she is going to be calm and the rest of the team sees that. We are going to be calm because we are going to see everyone's best every night."

Jackson credits fellow senior Taya Davis, who is nearing 1,000 career points herself, for helping her reach her milestone. 

"If (Taya) wasn't here, I probably won't be able to break the record, especially off rebounds and put-backs and the little dump-offs that she gives me," Jackson said.

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Davis' unselfish play is key to powering the General's offense, and she would trade her points milestone for a different one.

"It is good to have it but I wish I could get 1,000 assists instead of 1,000 points. That's what I like to do more," Davis said. "It is a good thing for Q to be honored because she worked hard for it. She has been putting in the work since she was a freshman, so it is a good day for her."

The leadership qualities that Jackson, a two-time H&R Macon County Player of the Year, have now weren't always there for her and her freshman season was full of technical fouls. 

"My first time as a freshman, I was bad. I used to get technical fouls and I used to retaliate so much more than I do now. My attitude was horrible," Jackson said. "I'm glad I got that out of the way. I don't complain anymore and I don't retaliate. I will just get a foul or two a game and I'm more patient on the court than what I was before."

It was the influence of Williams and getting older that changed her mindset. 

"I realized that if I want to be better, become better and play at the next level, I've got to learn how to control myself on the court. I can't let my anger or emotions get the best of me," she said. 

Jackson has attracted Division I interest, but Williams' death and the COVID-19 pandemic have slowed the recruiting process and Jackson hasn't made a final determination yet as so where she will play next.

Right now she is focused on the challenge this weekend for the Generals. MacArthur (4-0, 4-0 CIC) has won its first four games by an average of 29 points, but that easier schedule changes with games against Springfield High (6-1, 4-0 CS8) and Sacred Heart-Griffin (9-0, 5-0 CS8) back-to-back on Friday and Saturday on the road. Jackson will be handling it as he does: Calm, cool and collected. 

"It is going good (this season) but those were sort of the easier teams that we've gotten out of the way. This week is tougher competition with Lanphier, SHG and Springfield High. We have to get ready for that because we have become used to playing easier teams. Sometimes our heads get too big  and we think playing these teams is going to be easy when in reality we are going to have to fight for each of these games."


Contact Matthew Flaten at (217) 421-6968. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFlaten

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