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Clearwater's Keona Dixon is working hard to be known as more than a 3-point shooter.
By BOB PUTNAM
Published December 12, 2007
CLEARWATER - Keona Dixon hit a 3-pointer against Lakewood last week, a move so natural, so familiar, so amazingly routine.
The degree of difficulty on the shot, from 25 feet out on the left, was not particularly high. In the broad scope of Dixon 3-pointers, it did not rate as the most significant, or the most memorable.
Dixon, after all, is a sharpshooter who finished second in the Florida High School Athletic Association's inaugural 3-point shooting contest last year.
The Clearwater senior also is known for her what-the-heck heaves.
Remember the midcourt shot she hit before the half against Dunedin last season?
And who can forget the 70-footer she swished as time expired to beat Boca Ciega in last season's region semifinals?
But Dixon can hit other shots, too. She knocked down fallaway jumpers and pretty bank shots, all of which reminded the young Spartans that their concerns with Dixon's scoring go way beyond long-range shot.
"Keona is getting away from settling for the 3-pointer," Tornadoes coach Tom Shaneyfelt said.
"She working on becoming an all-around player and getting others involved."
Now, Dixon's ability to step beyond the arc is but a single line on her resume.
As soon as last season ended, she started adding other shots to her repertoire.
On most nights this offseason she went to the Greenwood Recreation Center with her cousin, former Clearwater standout Darrell Williams.
"A lot of times I would shoot more than 100 shots a night," Dixon said. "It made me better."
Against Lakewood, Dixon put her wide range of skills to use. She scored a game-high 28 to go along with seven assists and two steals.
"I feel like I'm making better decisions with the basketball," she said.
Dixon, though, can still put the ball through the hoop from very long range.
On Saturday, she returns to Boca Ciega, the site of her most memorable buzzer-beater.
"Hopefully I can hit another one if needed," Dixon said.