As Jared Broughton rode the bus from Lee’s Summit West High School to Truman – where his Titan girls basketball team would take on the host Patriots – he experienced a wide range of emotions.
This would be his first trip back to Truman since his father – Hall of Fame boys basketball coach Steve Broughton, who once led the Patriots to back-to-back state final four appearances – passed away in 2015 following a bout with cancer.
When his team arrived to participate in the 42nd annual Pete Hile Invitational, the locker rooms were used by other teams, so Broughton and his Titans were escorted to a classroom as a makeshift locker room.
“It was my dad’s old classroom,” Broughton said after the Titans broke a fourth-quarter 47-all tie with a late 11-1 run to claim a 58-48 victory over coach Steve Cassity’s Patriots.
“I had to stop for a minute and process a few things,” Broughton added, when asked about going into his father’s former classroom. “I go from his former classroom to the gym where I basically grew up.
“So many memories – all good – but we were here to win a game and our girls got the job done. I was so proud of the way we ended the game. Truman always has a good program – boys or girls – and their girls really went after us tonight.
“When it was tied 47-47 (with 4:40 left in the game), I thought the team that hit the most free throws and played the best defense was going to win, and we were able to do that.”
Broughton’s 8-3 Titans are a handful for any opponent, as the five starters average anywhere between 11 and 8 points per game.
On this night, Brooke Ellis led with 18 points, followed by Tasia Johnson and Charlie Ritchey, who each scored 16.
“They don’t care about personal stats, they just want to win, and we were able to win a game that was very important to me,” Broughton added. “The last time I was in this gym was when Truman honored my dad with a benefit game.”
West led 14-13 after one period and the score was tied 26-all at halftime.
The Titans used a 17-point third period to take a 43-36 lead into the fourth quarter, but Trinity Harrison came off the bench to score five of her 12 points to help the Patriots knot the score at 47-all.
After that tie, Truman failed to hit a field goal and was just 1 of 4 from the free throw line.
“We did a lot of good things tonight,” Cassity said after his team fell to 10-4. “Against a lesser team, we would have had a chance to win. But that is a very good Titan team. Everyone can score and they made their free throws at the end.”
Deon Monroe led the Patriots with 13 points and Urya’ Williams added 11.
The Patriots played without center Jewel Hart, who suffered a knee injury last week.
“Not making any excuses – you play with the players you have,” Cassity said, “but Jewel is a presence and we missed that presence tonight.”