Truman High School's girls basketball team ran off to a 19-6 first-quarter lead and managed to disrupt a brief Lee's Summit West second-half rally to claim a 52-32 victory over the Titans Wednesday night in the semifinals of the Lee's Summit North Bronco Invitational.
The 2-0 Patriots will meet Lee's Summit North, a 75-47 winner over Notre Dame de Sion in the second semifinal, in Friday's 7 p.m. championship game.
Abby Hix's 3-pointer at 4:42 of the first period gave coach Steve Cassity's girls a 10-0 lead that continued to grow as the game went on.
“When you get off to a good start like we did tonight, you can survive the little breakdowns like we experienced in the third quarter,” said Cassity, referring to a 15-point period the Titans used to cut a 30-11 halftime deficit to 40-26 going into the final quarter.
“We have so many different offensive weapons, we're going to be a hard team to match up against. We didn't get a lot from the outside tonight (four 3-pointers), but when we hit the three, it freed Becca (Jonas) up inside. She played real well in the post, and everyone was passing the ball well tonight.”
The Titans had several opportunities to cut the deficit to single digits in the fourth quarter, but Hix's third 3-pointer of the night gave Truman a 43-29 lead with 4:39 left.
Sophomore Bri Savidge, making her first varsity start, then hit Jonas under the basket with a pinpoint pass and the center scored to continue a 7-0 Truman run that put the game out of reach.
“Bri's pass was big; it really got our offense going late in the game,” said Jonas, who finished with a team-high 17 points. “We came out great tonight, just like we did against (William) Chrisman in the first game of the tournament. Then, we didn't play very well in the third period, but we still had a big lead because of the first quarter.
Jonas said the Patriots raised their level of play for the fourth quarter, just as their coach had urged.
“Bri was dropping dimes out there,” Jonas said. “Every one of her passes were right there, and that makes it easy to score inside.
“You don't want to struggle any time you play, but we have so much talent and depth on this team, we can overcome a short period where we have some offensive problems and find a way to win.”
Hix, who finished with three 3-pointers and 11 points, agreed.
“We got really good play from the post tonight, and we passed the ball well,” Hix said. “We needed to get a couple of outside shots so our inside/outside (offensive) game could start working like it did in the first period.”
Taylor Jackson led the Titans with 21 points.
The Patriots, who struggled at the free-throw line against Chrisman – hitting just 6 of 23 attempts – made 16 of 21 from the charity stripe against the Titans.