Duo sparks Truman girls basketball to easy win in season opener
It was difficult to tell in which way Truman forward Cece Mora and her new teammate Aa'Mya Stacker were having more fun – dominating Winnetonka in the paint or cheering on their reserve teammates.
The reserves spent much of the second half on the court as coach Jimmy Page's Patriots ran off to a convincing 78-19 win against the host team in the 42nd annual Winnetonka Tournament Monday.
"This is the best team and the closest team I've ever been on," said Mora, as she and Stacker, a junior center who stands 6-foot-2, each scored 19 points before turning their roles over to their teammates Monday night. "We were having so much fun on the bench cheering whenever any of the girls from the JV team (who Page brought to the tournament) scored a basket.
"For some reason, we just weren't that close in the past. But this season, we're just a different team. This is the most fun I've ever had, and this is our first game.
"We have fun in practice, we get together after practice and Aa'Mya has made us so much better."
Stacker moved to Independence from the Grandview School District and said she "loves" her new team.
"Oh, I wish I could tell you how much fun I'm having this season," Stacker said. "I'm having the most fun ever. I love my team, I love our coaches, I love going to school at Truman. This is what I always dreamed school and playing basketball would be like. It's my dream come true."
A 27-3 first-quarter lead was a dream come true for Page, as his Patriots gained all the momentum and never let it go.
"We got off to that great start and never lost our momentum," Page said. "This team is just different. The girls are having fun at practice, and tonight they had so much fun. I think the girls on the bench were having as much cheering on the girls who replaced them, as they were when they were playing so well.
"Basically, in the second half we had our starting junior varsity team out there, and it was so cool to see three JV girls play with two varsity girls. The varsity girls got them involved in the offense right away."
Ironically, Page answered the next question before it was even asked, as he said, "You know, I was just back there talking to the girls about this win. We talked about how we're going to be in 45-35 games, and that we're not going to score 78 points every night, but this win shows them what they are capable of doing, and I know it's going to make them work that much harder at our next practice.”
Guards Taliyah Scott and Layla Scott each scored 10 points, and they made life a bit easier inside for Mora and Stacker with their success from long range.
"When Taliyah and Layla hit those threes, they have to go out and guard them, and that really opens things up inside for me and Aa'Mya," Mora said. "I know it's just one game, and just one win, but this the type of win you can build on. And like I said before, on the court or cheering from the bench, it was just so much fun."