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Examiner
  • Pitts stars as Jags knock off Truman

  • Justin Pitts turned the semifinal game of the Blue Springs South-Blue Springs McDonald's Tournament into his own personal showcase as the senior guard led South to a 58-38 victory over Truman Thursday night at South.

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  • Justin Pitts turned the semifinal game of the Blue Springs South-Blue Springs McDonald's Tournament into his own personal showcase as the senior guard led South to a 58-38 victory over Truman Thursday night at South.
    That sets up a repeat of last year's title game as the Jaguars meet Rockhurst in the 7 p.m. championship game Saturday at Blue Springs South.
    “They have two great guards in (Carl) Martin and Pitts and Pitts just took the game over in the second period,” Truman coach Billy Guinnee said. “It was a one-point game after the first quarter (12-11) then you look up and they've got a 28-17 lead at the half.
    “We didn't have an answer for Pitts.”
    Pitts scored seven of his game-high 22 points in the first quarter and then went on an eight-point run in the second quarter to help the Jaguars (3-0) pad their lead at the half.
    Truman (2-2) could never get back on track offensively as the Patriots suffered their second loss to the Jaguars in less than a week.
    “It's tough to see a great team like South twice so early in the season,” Guinnee said, “but that's the way the schedule fell. We hung with them for a quarter, but that was about it.”
    When asked about his dominant performance, Pitts pointed the attention to his teammates.
    “It all starts with our defense,” Pitts said. “We get a lot of offense from our defense because of turnovers that we turn into fastbreak baskets. I'm so proud of my team. We played hard tonight. Everyone who played, played hard. This was a team win.
    “I scored some points, but we played well at both ends of the court.”
    When asked about Pitts' performance, Martin just grinned and said, “We fed the hungry dog. When Justin is playing like that, you want him to have the ball. He's fun to play with in the backcourt, but there are times you kind of catch yourself watching him, and you can't do that because in case he does miss, you want to be in position to get a rebound.”
    South coach Jimmy Cain was pleased with his team's overall performance and poise.
    “The thing I was most pleased with was the way our guys kept their poise after a slow start,” Cain said. “You look at the score and might be surprised that it was a one-point game after the first quarter.
    “We maintained our composure, got into our offense – played some great defense – and enjoyed watching Justin's big game. This is a good win to take into the championship game Saturday night.”
    Kevin Puryear finished with 11 points and Andrew Wright added nine on three 3-pointers.
    Page 2 of 2 - Lane Titus led Truman with 13 points.
    The Patriots will play Blue Springs at 3:45 p.m. Saturday in the third-place game.
     
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