Thursday night, Truman girls basketball coach Steve Cassity was grateful that basketball games consist of two halves – and to have post player Becca Jonas on his roster.
The Patriots “struggled” the first half against visiting Staley because the Falcons “played a great first half,” Cassity said. As a result, Truman trailed 26-25 at halftime.
But then, Truman exploded for 40 second-half points, including 21 from Jonas, who finished with a career-high 33 points. Her scoring tear helped the Patriots cruise to a 65-50 non-conference victory.
“It’s always our intention to play through our post – and it was obvious they didn’t have the physical size to guard ’Becca,” Cassity said. “So, of course, we thought she had a chance to control the game.”
Cassity felt the Patriots (6-0) “did a better job at some points in the game than others” of capitalizing on the 6-foot-1 senior’s size advantage. One point when they weren’t doing a good job was the first half, according to senior guard Abby Hix.
“The first half, they came out aggressive and we just didn’t play our game,” Hix said. “Our game is (to) get it inside and kick it out and cut. They were jumping the passes.”
Getting the ball inside was stressed at halftime, said Jonas, who also grabbed 18 rebounds for a double-double and blocked five shots.
“It does open the guard play up so much,” she said.
Feeding the ball to Jonas helped open up shots for guards such as Hix, who scored eight of her 14 points during the third quarter, including a pair of 3-point goals.
“She’s such a good scorer, but she’s also a good passer,” Hix said, adding that people are noticing Jonas can pass wherever she wants.
“So you’ve got to protect the goal – and then, you have to worry about her kicking it out, which is something great to have,” she said.
To Falcons coach Sherry Butts, it seemed inevitable that Jonas would take over offensively.
“She’s a great player – and I would love to have three (who are) her size,” Butts said.
Offensively, the Falcons (3-2) had to counter Truman’s size advantage in the post with their guards. Senior point guard Monique Townson paced Staley with 21 points. Townson made 12 of 15 free throws and took all of Staley’s foul shots.
Junior guard Maddie Ferrara contributed 12 points.