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Patriots keep Three Trails Trophy with rout of rival Bears

By Cody Thorn
The Examiner
Truman senior Runey Hernandez (23) hoists the Three Trails Trophy as the Patriots celebrate a 72-45 victory over William Chrisman Friday night. Truman kept the trophy given out to the winner of the annual Noland Road rivalry game.

For the second year in a row, the Three Trails Trophy will be staying at Truman High School.

The Patriots won its second straight against rival William Chrisman in the series, this time winning 72-45 Friday night in a Suburban Middle Six game at Chrisman.

This was the most lopsided win in the series for either team since Truman won 74-46 in 2010. After winning the North Kansas City Invitational, the Bears hoisted a trophy for the second time in a seven-day span.

That led to a lot of celebrating on the court and some videos made in the makeshift locker room off the court, which featured Quincy Scott carrying the trophy.

“It is pretty exciting, but we are trying to keep our heads on and move onto the next,” said Scott, who had eight points.

Truman's Quincy Scott, left, dives for a loose ball in front of William Chrisman's Sir'Rahn Felix (1) and Anthony Watkins in Friday's game at Chrisman. The Patriots rolled to a 72-45 win to keep the Three Trails Trophy.

Truman opened with a 10-2 run and never looked back. The Bears focused on Najee Williams early, which opened the door for Max Black and Runey Hernandez to knock down shots. Hernandez made three 3-pointers and scored 11 of his 17 points in the first quarter.

That helped Truman (14-3, 3-0 Middle Six) take a 24-8 advantage over Chrisman.

“We gave them wide open 3s and they did not miss,” Chrisman coach Jake Kates said. “To their credit, they shot the ball really well in the first quarter and jumped out to a big lead. We are not the type of team that can overcome that. We are a young team.”

The next quarter, Black hit a pair of 3-pointers, part of his 11-point game, while Griffen Hernandez hit the first of his three 3-pointers.

By halftime, Truman carried a 40-14 lead into the locker room and was in clear control.

Cam Dickerson and Dayne Herl helped Chrisman (6-12, 2-1) come back a little bit early in the third quarter. The duo combined for more points in the third quarter – 15 – than the entire team had in the first half. That quick spurt led to a timeout called by Truman’s Rod Briggs and his squad responded with a 10-0 run.

Najee Williams, who had a game-high 20 points, had a dunk off a steal and then made a jumper as he was fouled and falling to the ground. He added another dunk and then scored on a runner on an assist from Black. His third dunk of the quarter was also his last as he got a technical for pushing a Bears playing while running back on defense.

Truman's Najee Williams drives to the hoop in Friday's game at William Chrisman. Williams fired in a game-high 20 points in the Patriots' 72-45 win.

Add in a technical foul early in the game for hanging on the rim too long after a dunk, he spent the rest of the night on the bench. It also means he won’t be able to play in a key conference game on Tuesday against Raytown.

With him out, Scott and Runey Hernandez carried the offense in the fourth, scoring 12 of the 18 points. Overall, Truman outscored Chrisman by only one in the second half.

“They play as hard as any team we will play against,” Briggs said. “Those guys never quit, they play hard and are well coached. We got them at the right time and they will be a lot better as the season goes. We will play them in a couple of weeks and that will be a tough one for us.”

Dickerson led the Bears with 11, while Herl, who was battling an illness, had 10. Chrisman looks to snap a four-game losing skid on Tuesday playing at Grain Valley in another division game.

For the fifth straight game – all wins – the Patriots limited a team to 50 points or less — a key component in the recent success.

“We wanted to hold them to as little as possible and keep them under 50,” Griffen Hernandez said. “That was our game plan and is with every team we play.”

William Chrisman's Sir'Rahn Felix (1) goes up for a shot over Truman defender Ryan Swarts in Friday's game at Chrisman. The visiting Patriots went on to a 72-45 win.