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MISSION — Sharyland Pioneer’s Jordan Bravo developed into one of the Valley’s most prolific scorers during her four seasons with the Diamondbacks. By the end of her senior season, she ranked No. 1 in the program’s all-time scoring list, racking up 1,618 career points.
Her defense, however, didn’t fall far behind. Bravo terrorized opponents all around the court this season, tallying 143 steals and 41 blocks in 34 games.
After averaging 4.2 steals and 1.2 blocks and leading the Diamondbacks to their fourth consecutive postseason appearance, Bravo is The Monitor’s 2022 All-Area Girls Defensive Player of the Year.
“It’s something new,” Bravo said. “I’ve never gotten a defensive award, maybe just all-defense teams. I mostly get my offense recognized. It feels good knowing I can do both sides of the court.”
Bravo faced a tall task almost every night on the hardwood, constantly drawing a matchup against the opposing team’s best player. Still, she didn’t seem fazed by the competition, ready to match up with whoever lined up in front of her.
“You just have to think to yourself to not let them score on you,” she said. “You have to lock them down and be able to keep your composure.”
While she earned defensive player of the year honors, Bravo took her skills to another level in all aspects this season, averaging 20 points, 8.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game.
Her defensive effort played a key in her success, Bravo said, upping her scoring average from 14.2 to 20 points per game from her junior to senior season.
“It’s just about knowing defense is more important when it comes to winning the game,” Bravo said. “Points can come from defense. Getting steals or blocks can lead to points off transition.”
Bravo also credits her head coach, Nicole Villarreal, and stepfather, Jorge Flores, for her continued growth on the court.
“(Coach Villarreal) changed my attitude from freshman year to now,” Bravo said. “She made me a better player not only on the court, but off the court, too.”
“My stepdad, Jorge Flores, also had a big impact. He owns a gym, so we were putting in work every day and night, especially during quarantine. We put in a lot of work then. It really helped me.”
As she prepares to compete at the next level, signing her letter of intent to play for Division III’s Concordia University earlier this year, Bravo has her eyes set on carrying over her high school success to the collegiate ranks.
“I just want to make a name for myself,” Bravo said. “Not everyone gets to play at the next level. So that’s the goal for sure.”