The Truman girls basketball team went into halftime trailing by one but found a spark that ignited them in the third quarter against Staley.
Senior center Rebecca Jonas powered the offensive fireworks with unstoppable inside moves that allowed Truman to bolt quickly back in front. The Patriots never looked back on the way to a 65-50 victory Thursday evening at Truman High School.
“We definitely had to bring our energy up,” Jonas said. “We had given up some offensive boards, and we weren’t playing with as much intensity on defense as we needed to. That was our focus coming out.”
Jonas finished with a game-high 33 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks.
It was an all-around great day for the Jonas family. Late in the third quarter, Jonas’ mother won a raffle and received a dinner for four from Famous Dave’s barbecue.
“Nice, that’s why she yelled,” Jonas said.
The win lifted Truman to 6-0. Staley fell to 3-2.
“I liked our second-half effort,” Truman coach Steve Cassity said. “I thought we had an excellent third quarter. We defended better and did a better job getting to the glass. I thought offensively, we showed more patience and got the ball to the post.”
Staley fought hard with the drives and free throw shooting of Monique Townson and the outside shooting of Maddie Ferrara and Saije Buck. Townson made 13 free throws while Ferrara knocked down four three-pointers and Buck added three.
But the Falcons had no answer for Jonas, particularly in the third quarter when the Patriots needed her most.
Truman blew a seven-point lead in the second quarter and went into halftime trailing 26-25. The Patriots immediately regained the lead at the start of the third quarter on a basket by Jonas.
Jonas added a free throw. Staley tied it 29-29 on a three-pointer by Ferrara. After that, it was all Truman.
Jonas and the outside shooting of Abby Hix helped Truman go on a 15-3 run to start the third quarter for a 40-29 lead. After that burst, the Falcons stayed in command the rest of the game.
“Our momentum coming in the third quarter we knew was going to be important,” said Hix, who finished with 14 points. “They were playing aggressive. We knew we had to get it back inside and that opened up the outside.”
It certainly looked like it was going to be a closer game, especially the way the second quarter played out.
A couple of three-pointers midway through second quarter by Ferrara quickly erased a seven-point deficit and allowed Staley to close to 20-19.
Truman managed to cling to the lead and actually extended it to 25-21 on a three-pointer by Sydney Pailaii.
Staley then held the Patriots scoreless the final 2 minutes of the second quarter. The Falcons took their only lead of the second quarter on a basket by Townson.
“You always want to keep a big lead, but Staley played hard and they came out aggressive,” Hix said. “It is good for us to experience that and know what we have to do.”