Truman’s girls have played in the Bronco Invitational at Lee’s Summit North for several years now, but with limited success.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
That changed Friday as the Patriots demolished the host Broncos 47-27 in the tourney title game.
“It means a lot to us,” said Truman junior center Becca Jonas, who led the Patriots in points (13) and rebounds (nine). “We’ve been in this tournament the past three years and we’ve won some games, but we’ve never been even in the championship game. It just feels great.”
Senior guard Brooke Parton punctuated a near-perfect first half with a long-distance three-pointer as the second-quarter buzzer sounded for the Patriots, 4-0, who led 29-14 at halftime.
Behind a stingy defense that bullied LS North, 3-1, into a 22-percent shooting effort — only eight for 36 — from the field, Truman had scored enough points by then to win.
“I’ve been really pleased with our early-season efforts, especially on the defensive end,” Patriots coach Steve Cassity said. “We’ve been pretty effective. That was a great first half, and it set the tone for the rest of the game.”
In addition to Jonas’ dominance inside as she spearheaded a 29-18 edge on the boards, timely three-point shooting aided Truman’s cause.
After opening the game on a six-point run, the Patriots’ lead stood at 10-6 when junior Abby Hix swished a bomb from the left wing off a high-post feed from Jonas, who also had a team-high five assists.
Midway through the second period, a three-pointer from junior Kayla Harrell, who finished with 10 points, delivered the first double-digit lead at 21-11, but Parton’s 20-footer was a dagger.
The Broncos had fought to keep the game within reach, but that shot — and the 15-point lead it delivered — essentially sealed the Patriots’ win.
Truman, which shot better than 57 percent from the field, quickly bumped its lead to 20 points in the third quarter and locked in the cruise control from there, limiting the damage Broncos junior Imani Johnson inflicted to 11 points and six rebounds.
Every time Johnson caught the ball in the paint, she faced a double or triple team, prompting her to play much of the game around the perimeter.
“We’ve been playing around with that idea for a while,” LS North coach Tricia Lillygren said. “It’s going to be harder to triple team her on the perimeter. We haven’t tried it much in a game, but we thought this might be an opportune time to do it.”
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.