816 girls hoops: Truman, Lee’s Summit North to battle for third time

03/11/2014 4:36 PM

03/11/2014 4:37 PM

In the last two seasons, the Truman High School girls basketball team has lost only two games. That dominance has included four wins against Lee’s Summit North.

It will take a fifth victory if the Patriots are to advance to the Missouri Class 5 quarterfinals. Truman will play Lee’s Summit North at 6:30 tonight in a Class 5 sectional matchup at the Independence Events Center.

The Patriots swept the two games against Lee’s Summit North this season, but they trailed the majority of the second meeting Dec. 9 before winning 46-45.

“We will have to play well to win,” Truman coach Steve Cassity said. “Lee’s Summit North is a well-coached, talented team. Imani Johnson is a powerful presence in the post.”

Indeed, Johnson recently took over as the Lee’s Summit North all-time leading scorer.

Truman owns a pair of prolific scorers of its own. Forward Becca Jonas and shooting guard Abby Hix each surpassed the 1,000 career point mark during their senior seasons. Jonas scored 28 points in the district championship game against Kearney.

“We know that Jonas and Hix are phenomenal players, and they have a solid supporting cast,” Lee’s Summit North coach Tricia Lillygren said. “They play well as a team.”

CLASS 5: North Kansas City (18-9) vs. Lee’s Summit West (18-8), 3 p.m. today at Independence Events Center

Lee’s Summit West has won six straight games, thanks in part to an offense that is playing well. The Titans are averaging 56 points per game during the winning streak. Leading scorer De’Jionae Calloway scored 19 points in the district championship game against St. Teresa’s Academy with Austin Richardson chipping in 15 more.

That presents an intriguing matchup Wednesday. Calloway, Richardson and the rest of the Titans will play against a North Kansas City team that has improved its defensive play during the postseason.

“Our girls have been really resilient,” first-year Titans coach Jeff Hardin said. “We were all new to each other (this season), we have had to battle through some pretty significant injury issues. It helped us build some depth, though, and I think we are stronger because of the issues we faced.”

CLASS 4: Notre Dame de Sion (15-13) vs. Clinton (19-7), 6 p.m. today at Blue Springs South High School

Notre Dame de Sion coach Jared Pitts says his team has played its best basketball of the season over the last couple of weeks. Not bad for timing.

Sion has held five of its past six opponents under 40 points and has won all six games. The Storm, led by Kristen Murphy, has a tough assignment against Clinton, which tends to mix up its defenses throughout each game.

“For us to be able to advance, we need to do a great job rebounding and apply a lot of ball pressure,” Pitts said. “I think if we can do those two things, it will lead to some transition buckets and that will be the key to winning the game.”

CLASS 4: Lincoln Prep (20-7) vs. St. Joseph Benton (19-8), 6 p.m. today at Staley High School

It has been more than a month since Lincoln Prep lost a game, and the Tigers haven’t exactly been tested during that time either. They’ve won seven straight by double digits.

Senior forward Ashley Morris is the focal point of Lincoln’s Prep offense. She is capable of topping 20 points on a nightly basis.

“The confidence for us is on a high level right now,” Lincoln Prep coach Jeff Atkins said. “We have peaked at the right time. Every coach’s goal is to make sure they are playing well together at this time in the season.”

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