Blue Springs South’s future opponents might want to view video of South’s 60-33 win Wednesday night over Smithville before trying to match the Jaguars’ uptempo style.

Blue Springs South’s future opponents might want to view video of South’s 60-33 win Wednesday night over Smithville before trying to match the Jaguars’ uptempo style.

Smithville kept pace with speedy South during the first half of the Bank Midwest Holiday Classic at William Jewell. But the Jaguars kept pushing the ball and outscored the Warriors 31-11 the second half to secure the first-round Cardinal Division victory and set up a semifinal meeting with Truman.

“They did a good job leaking out and getting fast breaks (the first half),” said Jaguars senior forward Wesley Poke, who contributed 14 points and nine rebounds to the victory. “We did better (the second half) on our defense, on our defensive rebounding. (We) got out more. Our big men got down the court faster. We were able to stop them.”

The Jaguars (7-1) also displayed “more urgency in transition” during the second half, according to South coach Jimmy Cain.

“(I) felt like we were a little sluggish in the first half – and credit them,” Cain said. “I felt like they outworked us in that first half. Our kids did a good job of coming out ready to go in the third quarter.”

An ability to stop South’s dribble penetration was key to Smithville’s first-half success at playing an uptempo game, according to Warriors coach Chad Jones.

“I think that frustrated them a little bit,” Jones said. “And then, it turned into long rebounds and transition opportunities. Our kids did a really good job getting in transition and keeping their heads up and finding the open man. I was really pleased with the way they attacked in that first half.”

Jones attributed the Warriors’ inability to keep pace with the Jaguars during the second half primarily to losing 6-foot-4 senior Austin Frerichs, who had the flu and couldn’t continue after halftime.

“A couple of kids needed to step up in his place, and I was disappointed that that did not happen,” Jones said. “But to their credit, Blue Springs South came out and knocked down shots in that third quarter and really got after it defensively.”

Sparked by their transition game and work ethic – and sophomore guard Brock Mick’s eight first-quarter points – the Warriors traded leads with the Jaguars during the first quarter. South led 16-14 at quarter’s end.

The Jaguars edged the Warriors 13-8 in the second quarter to lead 29-22 at halftime. Mick helped keep Smithville in it by scoring six more of his 21 total points.     

In halting the Warriors’ uptempo game and kick-starting their own, the Jaguars ripped off 14 points before Smithville finally scored on a Derek Howe basket with 3:22 left in the third quarter. South outscored Smithville 19-4 to lead 48-26 after three quarters. The Jaguars then outscored the Warriors 12-7 the final quarter to set up their semifinal meeting with Truman at noon today at Jewell.

Poke and senior guard D.J. Booker are expecting a tough game from the Patriots, who advanced by cruising past Raytown 65-35 Wednesday. Both agreed the Patriots have talented ballplayers. Booker, who paced South with 15 points, singled out seniors Zach Large and Antonio Winn as standouts.

“We respect those dudes a lot,” Booker said of the Patriots. “We’ve got to bring our game tomorrow if we want to get the ‘W.’”