After a back-and-forth first half, Blue Springs appeared to take control of its game against crosstown rival Blue Springs South when it led by as many as 12 and went into the fourth quarter up by 10.
In the final 8 minutes, the Jaguars finally got their offense going and got some big-time shots from DJ Hyde and a record-breaking performance from Jared Ravencamp as they overcame a 12-point deficit to take a 74-70 victory in Friday’s Suburban Big Seven contest.
Even when South struggled to score at times in the first three quarters, Ravencamp kept the team afloat by getting to the rim for layups and drawing fouls. He tied the school record for most points in a game with 39, matching DJ Booker’s performance in 2012. The senior made a healthy living at the free throw line, making 17 of 23 free throws, breaking the school record for most free throws made in a game.
“I didn’t know that until after the game,” South coach Jimmy Cain said of Ravencamp’s new records. “There were many moments when our offense got stagnant and he was able to make a shot or make a play and keep the game in arm’s length.”
Ravencamp deferred the credit for his big game to his teammates.
“(My shot) was falling really good this game,” he said. “My teammates really spread the floor for me because I got some good shots and this kid right here (Hyde) hit some big shots.”
Ravencamp scored 15 of South’s 28 points in the first half, as RJ Lawrence’s 10 first-quarter points helped Blue Springs lead 18-16 after one period. The Wildcats went into halftime up 31-28 thanks to nine points from Daniel Parker Jr. in the second.
The Wildcats started to take control in the third when they began the frame with a 10-2 spurt, powered by seven points from Parker, including a couple of putbacks. He put his team up by as many as 13 when he drained a 3-pointer from the right corner, making it 46-33.
Ravencamp went on a personal 5-0 run after that, cutting it to 46-38, but Blue Springs appeared to still have all the momentum when it went into the fourth with a 52-42 edge.
Early in the fourth, South started utilizing a full-court press and it led to its comeback. They went on a 9-0 run, which included a pair of steals from Hyde and fast-break buckets by Ethan Swanegan and Jaylon McDaniel. Khayden Hooks’ 3-pointer capped the run to cut Blue Springs’ lead to 52-51.
“We mixed that in quite a bit with our personnel,” Cain said of the press. “We feel really good about our bench. We’ve got some guys that are good at picking up the tempo. We had to make sure to contain Lawrence and Parker while we were pressing. I have to tell you it wasn’t easy.”
Blue Springs answered with a 7-1 spurt that was keyed by a pair of Parker layups and a Lawrence 3-pointer from about 24 feet out.
Ravencamp answered with a 3-pointer of his own to cut it to four, and the Jaguars (8-9, 2-3) slowly chipped away until Parker threw down a ferocious one-handed slam over the 6-foot-6 McDaniel to make it 62-58. It was a moment that got the Wildcats and their home crowd fired up.
South was unfazed. Hyde hit back-to-back 3-pointers, including the go-ahead shot from the left corner with a hand in his face to put his team up for good. Lawrence pulled his team within 69-68 with a trey later in the quarter, but South made 10 of its last 12 free throws to help seal it.
“Coach has a lot of confidence in me and tells me to keep shooting it when I am missing,” said Hyde, who had 12 points. “He said they will come, and they did.”
When Blue Springs (7-10, 1-4) tried to make its comeback with less than a minute left, Parker and Lawrence both attempted 3-pointers that were way behind the arc and contested. They weren’t able to get them to fall.
“I thought we played really well until the last 3 minutes,” Blue Springs coach Adam Jones said. “I really liked our effort. We didn’t have to have a three there (with about 49 seconds left). Composure – that’s what killed us in this game and just not finishing the game. We’re not doing a great job of making good decisions late in the ballgame.”
Parker finished with 34 points to lead the Wildcats and Lawrence added 26. McDaniel scored 10 for South.