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Examiner
  • Unbeaten Patriots irk coach

  • Truman coach Steve Cassity was hoping for a sweet Valentine’s Day treat from his undefeated Patriot girls basketball team Wednesday night against Ruskin.

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  • Truman coach Steve Cassity was hoping for a sweet Valentine’s Day treat from his undefeated Patriot girls basketball team Wednesday night against Ruskin.
    The Patriots delivered a 58-32 conference victory, but it wasn't quite as sweet as the coach or his 22-0 team had hoped for.
    He emerged from the locker room following a lengthy post-game session – that went on well after he had left as the seniors then took over and had a players-only meeting – and said his team better improve if it wants to remain undefeated in conference play and hold onto its lofty state ranking.
    “I'm disappointed at every level of play tonight,” said Cassity, whose squad improved to 8- 0 in in the Suburban Middle Six. “Where was the passion tonight? It's hard to explain. You look at the score and think it's a big win, but we didn't play like I'm used to seeing this team play – and that's not a good sign at this point of the season.”
    The Patriots travel to Park Hill and Park Hill South next week to play their final two league games, and now, Cassity wonders about the outcome.
    “We can't play like we did tonight at Park Hill or Park Hill South,” he said. “They want to be beat us. Everyone wants to beat the undefeated team, and Park Hill South has one conference loss – and that's to us. So we better get back on track before next week or we're in for a tough way to end the season.”
    One by one, his players emerged from the locker room and they agreed with their coach.
    “Tonight, it looked like we thought we were a 22-0 team and that we just showed up and thought we could win,” said junior center Becca Jonas, who sparked the Patriots throughout the night and led the team in scoring with 19 points. “But that's not the way it is at all. We lacked energy tonight, and I don't know why. There weren't many people in the stands, but we can't let that affect the way we play.
    “We're even more disappointed that Coach, and he's really disappointed. We had a long talk after the game and I can't wait for practice tomorrow because we're going to get back to working hard – at practice and in our games.
    “We needed that talk. Then the players talked, and we know what to do so we don't have any more games like this.”
    While Jonas kept the Patriots offense going throughout the game, junior guard Abby Hix kicked it into high gear in the final quarter as she scored nine of her 15 points in the fourth.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I think that sometimes we question how good we really are,” Hix said. “We're not overconfident at all. We know when we play as a team, we can be really good – we're No. 1 in the state – but we don't play like it sometimes, and that is frustrating for all of us.”
    Truman led just 8-5 after one period and took a 22-13 lead into halftime, with Jonas scoring 10 points in the second quarter, including a shot at the buzzer.
    With Hix getting on line offensively, the Patriots took off in the second half to remain undefeated.
    Truman won the junior varsity game 37-29.
     
     
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