Blue Springs South freshman guard Tiffany Davenport will never forget her first varsity game.
Neither will her big sister, Remy.
Tiffany scored a team-high nine points and turned in the defensive gem of the game to help the Jaguars claim a 45-42 season-opening win over host Lee's Summit West Tuesday night.
“I taught her everything she knows,” deadpanned Remy, a senior standout who hit a key 3-pointer and one of two free throws to help the Jaguars overcome a furious late rally by the Titans.
When informed of Remy's comments, Tiffany exclaimed, “Not! Well, maybe a little.”
Through three quarters, it appeared the Jaguars would roll to an easy season-opening victory as they took a 37-24 lead into the final period.
That's when the Titans turned up the heat, using a 15-4 run to cut the deficit to 41-39 with just over one minute to play.
Then the Davenport sisters went to work.
Remy Davenport hit the biggest 3-pointer of the night to give South a 44-39 lead with 1:01 left. West’s Austin Richardson, who finished with a game-high 20 points, then hit a 3-pointer to make it two-point game with 20 seconds left.
Tiffany Davenport was fouled and missed both free throws, but came up with a huge steal following the misfires at the line to set up a dramatic pair of free throws for her sister.
“Coach (Brad Oyler) tells us to anticipate where the pass will be, and that's what I did,” said Tiffany, who picked off a Titan pass at midcourt.
Remy then went to the line and hit one of two free throws to make it a three-point game (45-42) and Cloe Lane blocked the final Titan attempt at a potential game-tying 3-point basket in the closing seconds.
“It's so cool to be playing with Tiffany my senior year,” said Remy Davenport, a three-year starter for the Jaguars. “She's going to have an impact on this team. She played so well tonight. She missed those free throws, then goes and makes that big steal.
“She's not your typical freshman.”
Oyler was happy to get a big contribution from a freshman and his entire team.
“West did a good job shutting our top two scorers (Remy, who finished with eight points, and Lane, who finished with six), and Tiffany scores nine in her first game and Brooke (Neal) hits two big threes and makes a big defensive play late in the game (when she dove for a loose ball near the baseline and knocked it off a Titan player, setting up Remy's 3-pointer).
“This is one of those games where you feel good about the win, and you know there are so many teaching tools you can take from it. We had far too many turnovers and played like, well, it was a first game.
“But the girls withstood that late rally and found a way to win. Remy was big in the final minute, and so was Tiffany. All the girls played well at the end to make sure we came away with a win.”
Jeff Hardin, a longtime assistant at Blue Springs who is in his first year as head coach of the Titans, managed a smile after the loss.
He even called the Davenport sisters’ father Vince over to congratulate him on how well Remy and Tiffany played.
“We almost came back,” Hardin said. “Remy has been a great player for South for a long time, and now, her little sister comes along and they gang up on me. It's not fair.
“No, honestly, Brad has a nice team that always hustles and works hard. I know at one time we trailed by 13 (37-24), and we managed to make a game out of it. I'm proud of the way our girls came back in the fourth quarter.”
West won the junior varsity game 45-32.