When the third quarter ended, Lee’s Summit North was in position in to pull off a comeback victory Friday night over undefeated visiting Truman.
Truman made sure that didn’t happen.
Trailing by 10 at halftime, the Broncos chipped away and made it a two-point ballgame entering the final quarter of the Lee’s Summit North Bronco Invitational title game. But then, the Patriots exploded with a 17-0 run that helped them withstand a late North surge and win 55-48.
Patriot girls basketball coach Steve Cassity and senior forward Kayla Harrell agreed that tight defense sparked Truman’s game-deciding run.
“Our defense turns into offense for us, and we got going,” said Harrell, who paced Truman with 17 points – eight of them during the fourth quarter. “We hit a couple shots.”
Cassity also felt that Truman “got out in transition well.”
“We got some easy baskets in transition – any time you get easy baskets (it helps),” he said. “The team that gets the most easy baskets wins.”
The Patriots’ fourth-quarter run was in keeping with their 9-0 game-opening run. Sophomore forward Bri Savidge, who finished with 10 points, sparked the run by scoring Truman’s first six points. With the score 13-3 Truman, North kept it close by staging a 9-0 run.
The Patriots led 16-12 after one quarter, despite going 3 for 10 from the field. They compensated by making 9 of 13 free throws.
“Thirteen free throws is a lot for a game, let alone a quarter,” Cassity said.
Truman went 19 of 24 from the line overall. North, by contrast, went 5 for 6.
“Nineteen makes to our five makes. There’s 14 points,” Broncos coach Tricia Lillygren observed. “And you lose by seven? It’s a big difference.”
During the second quarter, however, it was field goal shooting that made the difference. By going 6 for 12, the Patriots built a 28-18 halftime lead. North went 2 for 10.
North (3-1) outscored Truman 13-7 to cut Truman’s lead to 35-33 after three quarters. Lillygren said the Broncos made it close because they followed their game plan.
“You don’t take anything away from Truman,” she said. “They’re a fantastic team. But to play and to beat them, you’re going to have to play your game and you’re going to have stay on track with your goals and your plan. And we didn’t see our plan until the third quarter.”
In addition to Harrell’s fourth-quarter contributions, seniors Abby Hix and Becca Jonas helped Truman ice it. Hix scored eight of her 13 total points during the quarter. Jonas scored four of her 10 total points that quarter.
The victory capped what Cassity and Harrell felt was a well-played tournament by Truman (4-0).
“We knocked down a lot of shots and we played really good defense,” Harrell said. “So overall, it was really good. Good teamwork.”
Imani Johnson’s 14 points led Lee’s Summit North.