First game or not, Steve Cassity’s words had some teeth to them.

First game or not, Steve Cassity’s words had some teeth to them.

The Truman girls basketball coach watched his team’s season opener at Lee’s Summit North on Tuesday and witnessed typical first-game mistakes. There were turnovers, some missed open shots, some forced passes. It all factored into a 48-27 loss to the Broncos.

But while some of that sloppiness is to be expected this early in the season, Cassity couldn’t let his squad slip out of the locker room without pointing out that the mentality he saw Tuesday could have some lethal long-term ramifications if left unchecked.

The Patriots (0-1) committed 24 turnovers, shot 1 of 16 from behind the 3-point line and sent North to the free-throw line 21 times. That was all indicative of what Cassity described as a completely unacceptable effort.

“When you’re not running through your offense hard, when you’re not setting solid screens, when you’re not making good cuts, you’re not going to make shots,” Cassity said. “That’s just how basketball is.”

Truman started slowly, falling behind 19-10 in the first quarter and trailed 26-15 at halftime after turning the ball over 15 times during the first two quarters.

Things didn’t improve in the final two stanzas, as the Broncos (1-0) pushed ahead 37-21 by the end of the third after the Patriots shot 2 for 10 in the quarter.

North’s final 31-23 rebounding edge compounded Truman’s issues.

“We definitely need to practice harder, really, and reduce our turnovers,” said Truman sophomore Rebecca Jonas, who led Truman with 13 points and four rebounds. “Just fundamental things and effort things. We can improve on all levels.”

Many of the Patriots’ turnovers were unforced, which sideswiped a defensive effort that Cassity termed as passable. Truman limited the Broncos to 1-of-9 shooting in the second quarter and held them scoreless for a 3-minute, 36-second stretch in the third. During that span, the Patriots only cut North’s lead from 17 to 14.

“There are envelopes of time in games where you have to take advantage of teams’ mistakes,” Cassity said. “... And we didn’t. But I think it was indicative of our effort all night. We did not have any type of killer instinct. When we saw them struggling offensively, we didn’t try to put our foot down and take advantage of that.”

The Broncos benefited from an aggressive offensive attack that garnered them 21 free throw tries – netting 16 points. Erica Nelson led all scorers with 18 points on only 4-of-7 shooting. Courtney Osborn added nine points and McKenzie Kellogg finished with eight points, seven rebounds and five steals.

“They definitely took it to the basket hard and we didn’t step up and guard them,” Jonas said. “We were expecting that because it’s one of their strengths. But we will improve on it.”

The next action both teams see will come in the Lee’s Summit North Bronco Invite. The second-seeded Broncos will host William Chrisman on Monday while No. 4-seed Truman takes on Notre Dame de Sion.