As the Blue Springs South Summer Basketball League winds down, area girls basketball coaches savor the opportunity to get a handle on their respective teams, while some enjoy watching them grow and develop right before their eyes.

As the Blue Springs South Summer Basketball League winds down, area girls basketball coaches savor the opportunity to get a handle on their respective teams, while some enjoy watching them grow and develop right before their eyes.

That’s certainly the case for Blue Springs South’s Fawna Harrison, whose Jaguars remain undefeated in summer action following a victory over Truman Monday afternoon.

As Harrison watched her lone senior returnee from last year’s varsity team grab a rebound, the South coach said of Kailey Hancock, “A kid like Kailey is the reason you coach.

“From the time she was a freshman, I’ve seen her grow and develop not only as a player, but more importantly, as a person. She’s developed into a leader and she’s had so much fun this summer. All the girls seem to be having a good time.”

While Harrison is quick to downplay her team’s record, it’s the first thing the players mention.

“Coach just told us (after the win) that it’s not that important to win in the summer league, it’s more important to play as a team and get to know each other,” junior Jordan McNamara said.

“But I thought, if we can win and have fun and play as a team and get to know each other, that’s even better. We’ve never won a lot of games, and this summer we didn’t lose at team camp and we haven’t lost here.

“I’m loving that, and so are the other girls on the team. I think because we’re winning, we’re playing hard. And we’re becoming a lot tighter as a group. I love the girls on this team and we’re going to try our best to carry over everything from this summer into the season.”

While Harrison shrugs at her team’s record, she’s eager to talk about all the other positive aspects of the summer.

“Even though they’ve had a lot of success, they continue to work hard,” the veteran coach said. “And they all know their roles. The starters know their roles, the reserves know their roles and the young kids – the freshmen – are learning their roles.

“And that’s what’s fun for a coach. To see kids work hard, have success, know their roles and grow and develop every time they step on the court.”

SUCCESSFUL CAMP: Blue Springs coach Mark Spigarelli and his Wildcats just returned from the University of Missouri Basketball Camp and he liked what he saw.

“We went there with a lot of goals, and we reached most of them,” Spigarelli said. “Overall, I was pretty much pleased with what the girls accomplished. The attitude is great and the team chemistry is growing and improving every time we play.

“And that’s important. That was an issue last year, and I don’t think it will be an issue this year. The girls are playing like a team and really getting along.”

UP AND DOWN SUMMER: When you lose your top scorer and coach on the court, you know you’re in for some changes.

Just ask Grain Valley coach Steve Broughton, who lost 1,000-point career scorer Taylor Lipps and his daughter, guard Whitney Broughton, to graduation.

“It’s different, but the girls are playing pretty well,” Steve Broughton said. “It’s kind of been an up and down summer. We’re up one game, and kind of down the next – but that’s why you play in the summer. It gives you a great opportunity to work on things like working a couple of new guards into the starting lineup.”