A couple minutes still remained in the first quarter Friday, and already the Truman boys basketball team had a firm grip on the hardware.

A couple minutes still remained in the first quarter Friday, and already the Truman boys basketball team had a firm grip on the hardware.

Against a solid Harrisonville team, the Patriots zoomed out to a 20-2 lead and cruised to a 79-69 win in the Bank Midwest Holiday Classic at William Jewell on Friday. By capturing third place in the Cardinal Division, Truman moved back above the .500 mark at 6-5.

The Patriots harassed Harrisonville (7-3) into six turnovers in the opening stretch, and eight total in the first quarter.

“Defense was the key; we got a lot of transition baskets,” Truman coach Billy Guinnee said. “I think they figured out our press, and we had to back out of it, but that was working extremely well the first quarter.”

Harrisonville burned two timeouts in the first five minutes while Truman’s Zach Large put in nine of his game-high 23 points. Antonio Winn added six points, David Franklin hit a 3-pointer and Large dished an assist to Zach Huber in the opening stretch.

“I think we had to come out and play hard,” said Winn, who finished with 15 points and four assists. “For a third-place game, not everybody’s ready; there’s not as much energy. I think we kind of shocked them with how hard we came out, and that boosted the lead early.”

Truman led 23-7 at the first stop, and Harrisonville never got closer than 11 until the final minute. The first instance came at 29-18, but the Patriots pushed the margin back to 42-24 by halftime, and a Lane Titus 3-pointer in the third produced the biggest lead at 61-40.

The Wildcats hit seven 3-pointers after halftime, including one from Luke Cooper that made it 68-57 in the fourth, but Large and Winn responded with baskets off turnovers to squash any rally.

Franklin tallied a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds and also nabbed four steals for the Patriots.

Mason Seffels’ 13 points and five assists led Harrisonville, and Matthew Prindle added 12 points. Seffels, Cooper, Prindle and Jacob Gibbs each hit a pair of treys.

“Harrisonville shot the ball really well in the second half,” Guinnee said. “Give them a lot of credit; they played hard the entire game. They made some unbelievable shots in the second half.

“It’s not as good as first place … But Harrisonville’s a quality team. We need all the quality wins we can get, because we have a tough schedule coming up ... and it’s always nice to win two in a tournament.”