Brandon Murillo stood at midcourt, visiting with Blue Springs South teammate Riley King, when he was approached by visiting Lee’s Summit basketball coach Keith Miller.

Brandon Murillo stood at midcourt, visiting with Blue Springs South teammate Riley King, when he was approached by visiting Lee’s Summit basketball coach Keith Miller.

“Mr. (Mark) Bubalo (the South activities director) gave me these coupons (for free treats at Culver’s) and told me to give them to a player who really played well tonight,” Miller said after Murillo scored 17 points to lead the Jaguars to a 52-50 Suburban Big Seven win over Miller’s Tigers.

“I thought you should get the coupons. You really played well tonight.”

Murillo drained three 3-pointers and found a way to score inside against a much larger Tiger team, but it was his two late free throws that kept Lee’s Summit at bay.

“We missed a couple of big free throws, but when we needed them, we found a way to get them,” Jaguars coach Jimmy Cain said after his team improved to 8-6 overall and 3-3 in league play. “We kind of fed on our free throws late in the game.”

Leading 46-43 with 1:04 left in the game, Murillo, Riley King and Darrion Geiger all hit each of their two free-throw attempts to build up a 5-point lead in the closing seconds.

And the Jaguars needed that cushion as Skyler Arbuckle hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to account for the final 52-50 score.

“I like to be at the line with the game close,” Murillo said. “We all work hard on our free throws, and it paid off tonight.”

Geiger, who finished with four points, agreed.

“Close game, you gotta knock them down,” Geiger said when asked what goes through his mind at the line. “Late in the game, they only had a couple of fouls, so we knew we were going to be fouled on every possession.

“We just did our best to be strong and hit our free throws.”

King made his two free throws to keep it a two-possession game with just 35 seconds left on the scoreboard clock.

“You can’t be nervous at the free-throw line,” said King, who scored all four points in the fourth quarter. “We knew we were going to be fouled if we had the ball late in the game and we were all able to hit some big free throws.”

Neither team held more than a five-point lead from the opening tip as South led 13-11 after one quarter, it was tied 21-all at halftime and the Jaguars took a 38-35 lead into the final period.

“It was a close game, but you could tell that Coach Cain’s kids wanted this game more than our kids,” Miller said after his Tigers fell to 12-6 and 4-2. “If there was a loose ball, they were on the floor getting it. They worked hard and they won. It’s that simple.”

No one worked harder than center Shawn Meyer (please see column), who added 15 points for the Jaguars.

“It was a total team effort,” Meyer said when asked about the play of his teammates. “I’m proud to be a member of this team.”

The Jaguars won without starting forward Drake Patterson, who could miss the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his leg.

“It happened during the summer and he’s played with a lot of pain,” Cain said. “We hope to get him back before the end of the season, but right now all we can say is that he’s out indefinitely.”

Lee’s Summit’s Sam Sealer led all scorers with 18 points. Arbuckle finished with 13.

The Tigers won the junior varsity game 65-55.

And yes, after the game Murillo headed off to the Blue Springs Culver’s.