Truman’s Courtney Eisman knows a thing or two about district championships, having won two in soccer.

But the junior has yet to win one in basketball.

Truman’s Courtney Eisman knows a thing or two about district championships, having won two in soccer.
But the junior has yet to win one in basketball.
Eisman played a big part in helping Truman’s girls basketball team get one step closer to a district title Wednesday night.
The junior came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points, including hitting 7 of 8 free throws in the decisive fourth quarter, helping Truman hold off a furious Chrisman comeback attempt for a 69-62 win in the Class 5 District 15 semifinals at Chrisman.
The second-seeded Patriots will play No. 1 Kansas City Central at 6 p.m. Friday in the finals at Chrisman.
“I’m really excited,” Eisman said. “I’ve never had a district championship in basketball before. This would be my first one. The team’s really excited.”
Early, it looked like the Patriots (18-8) were going to be run out of the gym.
Chrisman (16-11) exploded out of the gates, building a 27-11 lead early in the second quarter.
“The intensity was there,” said Chrisman senior guard Joby Parton, who scored 10 of her 13 points in the first quarter. “We played the toughest defense we’ve played all year. We hit shots. We hit layups. We won 50-50 balls. We played tough.”
But midway through the second quarter, the tide turned.
Chrisman’s shots stopped falling. And Truman couldn’t miss.
The Patriots closed the half on a 12-2 run, then started the second half on a 17-0 run to build an 11-point lead.
“They embarrassed us,” Truman coach Pete Hile said. “That first quarter embarrassed us. They hit everything they put up. This was the fourth time they’ve played us, and I told the girls, ‘They’re going to be higher than a kite. And if we can withstand that initial onslaught and stay within striking distance when we get our feet, we’d be OK.’”
Chrisman coach Lindsay Thompson said Truman was awed by Truman’s third-quarter performance. The Patriots shot 8 of 10 from the floor and made both of their free throws.
“Truman just had a perfect third quarter,” she said. “It’s tough to defend. Truman played well and did a good job.
“It’s hard, but that’s basketball. You have to play through it, and I thought our kids did that. Our kids should hold their heads high. I’m proud of them.”
Chrisman went more than eight minutes without a point, as shots seemed to rim out or just miss.
“They just weren’t falling,” said Chrisman senior forward Kealee McAhan, who led all scorers with 20 points. “We took good shots. They just weren’t falling.”
Despite the bad quarter, Chrisman would not go away.
The Bears fell behind 14 points with 4 minutes, 22 seconds remaining. Then they started to chip away, hitting 3-pointers, field goals, free throws. Nearly everything the Bears threw up for the final three minutes seemed to go in.
Parton’s 3-pointer – Chrisman’s final points of the game – pulled the Bears to within 65-62 with 17.7 seconds left.
But Cassie Eggers hit 3 of 4 free throws down the stretch to help Truman walk away with the win and the berth in Friday’s district title game.
“We played so hard,” Parton said, wiping away tears. “There is nothing we can go out and hang our heads about. We played with everything we had. I don’t think the girls could wish for doing something different. This was the best game we played all year. And if we’re going to lose, we were going to lose going all out. These girls are amazing. I respect them more than anyone else. If we were going to lose, this was the way to do it.”
Becca Strobbe added 11 points for Truman, all in the second half. Roetta Kremer scored eight off the bench, helping the Patriots inside despite battling the flu. Kremer came up big in the third quarter, while starters Kassidy Ritchel and Kelsey Quirarte were battling foul trouble.
“I think as a team, we bounce off each other,” Kremer said. “When Quirarte wasn’t getting fouls, they put me in. When one of us isn’t doing well, the others pick up the slack.”