Truman girls basketball coach Steve Cassity had a day to remember Saturday afternoon.
He reached a milestone on the Patriots’ home court as they stopped No. 1 seed Blue Springs South 47-32 for the Class 5 District 14 championship, which netted his 400th career victory as a coach.
The 15-12 Patriots – who have won four in a row and six of their last seven – now meet 19-6 Lee’s Summit West in the sectional round at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
Truman junior Deon Monroe put on a clinic for the Patriots against the Jaguars, bringing the ball down the court, directing the offense and dominating in the paint along with 6-foot-2 teammate Rosie Braley.
“I’m 5-4, but I like to think I play like I’m 6-4,” said Monroe, who led all scorers with 18 points, including 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. “We feel like we’re playing our best basketball of the season. We’re so excited to win a district championship on our own court and we’re so happy for Coach Cassity. He really got us prepared for district and we want to reward him for all his hard work.”
Cassity made sure the spotlight was on his team.
After the milestone win, there was no game ball presentation, no hoopla, just a simple announcement from Truman activities director Eric Holm, that many of the excited Patriots fans missed.
“We knew No. 400 was creeping up, but I didn’t feel like it was necessary to tell anyone or make a big deal out of it,” Cassity said. “This was a big win. They really didn’t have a matchup for Deon, and she just played a great game.
“We knew that South is capable of lighting it up with threes, but we were able to put a lot of defensive pressure on them (and hold them to just three 3-pointers).”
Korey Lower, whose team finished 15-12, praised Truman.
“We were 10-16 last year,” said Lower, who has been the South coach the past two seasons, “and we played for a district championship this year, so I am really proud of all the good things the girls have accomplished.
“Steve does such a great job with his kids, and we didn’t have a matchup for Monroe. That’s pretty rare when you see a team’s post player – even though she doesn’t really have the size of a post player – bring the ball down court and do all the things she does away from the paint. She is a difference maker.”
Elizabeth Ernsting led the Jaguars with 12 points. Braley added nine for the Patriots.