Mark Spigarelli watched his Blue Springs High School girls basketball team sleepwalk through a listless first half of basketball, wondering what might happen in the second half.

Mark Spigarelli watched his Blue Springs High School girls basketball team sleepwalk through a listless first half of basketball, wondering what might happen in the second half.
“I thought we had turned the corner,” Spigarelli said Monday night at Blue Springs, “but I guess I was wrong. We (the coaching staff) thought the ship had righted itself, but tonight it capsized.”
His seventh-ranked team led just 13-11 at halftime but scored 17 points in the third quarter and hit 11 of 13 free throws in the fourth – with sophomore guard Jamesia Price hitting 9 of 9 – to pull away from Lee’s Summit to claim a 47-35 Suburban Big Seven victory.
“Believe me, the 17-point third quarter had nothing to do with what I said at the half, because I didn’t have a lot to say,” Spigarelli said after his Wildcats improved to 5-0 in league play and 14-2 overall. “This team is doing itself a disservice. You saw that first half. How does this team play like that for an entire half? I’m sure you were asking yourself that question.
“I know I’ve asked myself that question 20 times this season. There is still a lot of time left before districts, but they better start playing four quarters of basketball or they are not going to come close to the type of season they are hoping for.”
The Wildcats and Tigers (9-8, 3-3) each scored eight points in the first quarter, with Blue Springs scoring five and Lee’s Summit adding just three points in the second quarter.
The only player who showed any fire in the first 16 minutes of play was injured senior guard Jocelyn Price – and she was on the bench.
“If the girls had Jocey’s fire and enthusiasm, we’d be all right,” Spigarelli said after watching Price do her best to motivate the team from the bench. “When the only player who shows any emotion or fire is sitting next to me on the bench, you know you’re in trouble. The Lee’s Summit girls were better prepared, better coached and played with more passion than our girls did tonight.”
Yet the Wildcats found a way to win.
“We play so hard in practice,” Jamesia Price, the younger sister of Jocelyn, said following a her 15-point performance. “I don’t know why we don’t bring that intensity into games. The first half was embarrassing. We managed to win, but we need to play a complete game, and we haven’t done that all season.”
When asked for her opinion on the Wildcats, Jocelyn Price rolled her eyes and said, “They need someone to kick them in the (rear end). I told them that there’s a chance I can play for one-minute intervals in district because I’m about two weeks ahead on the rehab for my knee.
“But I don’t want to come back and be a part of a team that played like we played in the first half. They need to get fired up, and I’m trying my best. But I can only do so much.
“It has to come from here,” she added, pointing to her heart.
Drew Roberts, the Wildcats leading scorer, was quiet in the first half but hit two long 3-pointers to ignite the offense in the third quarter.
Blue Springs suddenly found an up-tempo, run-and-gun style of play that resulted in six consecutive points and a 24-17 lead at the 4:12 mark of the third quarter.
“We should be able to play like that for all four quarters,” Jamesia Price said. “If I knew why we didn’t, I’d try to fix it. I know coach isn’t very happy, and neither are we.”
Azia Washington was the lone Tiger in double figures, scoring 11 points. Roberts finished with 10 and Cee Cee Burris and Lindsey Tremblay scored seven each for the Wildcats.
Jennifer Wendell scored 12 points to lead Blue Springs to a 40-33 junior varsity victory.