The Truman boys basketball team ran into a buzzsaw in the first round of the William Jewell Classic Nelson Division bracket.
North Kansas City came into the game with a 8-0 record and a 14-point win over the Patriots already under its belt. The Hornets dominated from start to finish, using a suffocating man-to-man defense and superb ball movement to rout Truman 70-35 Wednesday at the Mabee Center at William Jewell College in Liberty.
Truman did lead early in the game when Kamien Lennox fed a bounce pass to a streaking Don Edmondson for a layup, putting Truman ahead 5-4. After the Hornets scored three straight points, Truman forward Sam Billimon made a basket inside to tie it at 7. Northtown went on a 9-2 run from there capped by a backdoor cut and layup fromm Yonathan Elfu for a 16-9 first-quarter lead.
After shooting 28.6 percent in the first quarter, Truman shot just 2-for-10 from the field in the second despite getting open looks on the perimeter and in the paint. The Hornets took advantage by outscoring Truman 13-6 to go ahead 29-15 at halftime.
Truman shot better in the third period, making 40 percent of its shots, but the Hornets countered by shooting 53.8 percent from the floor and were led by TJ Babkir’s six third-quarter points to take a commanding 47-28 edge going into the final period.
“All of their scoring affected our defensive intensity, which is never good,” Truman coach Rod Briggs said.
The Patriots struggled to make baskets all game long as they shot just 27.8 percent from the floor and 2-for-17 from 3-point range. Northtown simply had too much size, length and athleticism for Truman.
On the flip side, the Hornets made 56.3 percent of their shots.
“We just didn’t make (shots), and their defense had a lot to do with that,” Briggs said. “They did a good job of altering shots. They are long and athletic, and we didn’t finish through contact sometimes.”
Following the loss, Truman faces Center in the consolation bracket at noon today.
SAm Billimon and Kamien Lennox led the Patriots (2-7) with 10 points each.