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Examiner
  • Piling it on

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  • Becca Jonas, Truman's 6-foot-1 senior center, grabs a rebound, looks upcourt for an outlet pass, then drives coast to coast to sink an uncontested layup.
    Moments later, Jonas swipes the backboard clean, sees fellow post player Bri Savidge motoring down the court, hits her with a perfect pass and Savidge hits a layup.
    “How demoralizing must that be for a team, when your two post players do something as athletic as that?” asks Truman coach Steve Cassity after his Patriots claimed a 65-27 mercy-clock victory over a young Park Hill squad Monday night on the Patriots’ home court.
    “You don't see many girls Becca's size go coast to coast, and Bri is just a great athlete. She's a beast in the weight room.”
    And she's just a sophomore.
    “We're all just doing what we have to do to win,” said Savidge, who tied teammate Abby Hix for team-high scoring honors with 18 points. “I don't have anything to do with how many points I score. It's all my teammates – the picks they set, the passes, the rebounds. This is a team game, and I think because we're playing as a team, we're having a lot of success.”
    Monday night's win gave Truman an 11-1 record and was the 302nd career win for Cassity, who is an impressive 88-27 at Truman.
    Before the start of the game, Cassity was presented with a game ball from last week's milestone win, a 66-44 rout of Noland Road rival William Chrisman, and after the victory over Park Hill, Cassity and his family and Truman players and family members celebrated with a No. 300 victory cake.
    “The cake is already obsolete,” joked Truman activities director Eric Holm, “because he wins so many games too quickly. He's up to 302 now, and we hope he sticks around for another 200 or 300 here at Truman.”
    An emotional Cassity made sure to thank the people who have helped him in quest for success.
    “I've been blessed to have great coaches,” Cassity said. “Becky Costello has been here since I came to Truman, and I've had Brad Oyler (who is now the head girls coach at Blue Springs South) and Darin Hall. I've been lucky enough to have 13 girls go D-I and believe me, I didn't teach them everything they know – I've been blessed with great talent. And I've been blessed with a great family.”
    The Trojans didn't have a chance Monday night as Hix got things going early from long range and Jonas and Savidge did the rest, controlling the boards and the tempo of the game.
    “I was feeling it early,” said Hix, who hit four 3-pointers among her 18 points, including three in the first five minutes. “Coach always talks about how important it is to start strong the first two or three minutes of the first and third periods, and we did that tonight.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Truman led 16-2 after one period and scored 27 points in the third quarter to trigger the running clock.
    The Patriots are playing without defensive standout Kayla Harrell, who hurt her knee last Friday in a win over St. Teresa's Academy.
    “I get an MRI as soon as the doctor can get me in,” said Harrell, who was on crutches and watched the game from the bench. “I was really proud of how well the girls played tonight. I will hopefully get back soon, real soon.”
    Savidge said without Harrell the Patriots have to step up their game.
    “We all need to raise our level of play,” said Savidge, who is on a hot streak with four consecutive games in double figures.
    Cassity agreed.
    “Bri has really hit her stride, and it couldn't come at a better time,” the veteran coach said. “All the girls are playing well, and we need them to play well without Kayla in the lineup. Kayla always defended our opponent's top (offensive) player. She did a lot of the things a coach notices, but that you don't see in the box score.”
    Amanda Alexander and Kaylyn Magee led 5-5 Park Hill with seven points each.
    Truman won the junior varsity game 33-32.

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