Fort Osage High School boys basketball coach Josh Wilson walked into his office Monday and there, sitting on his desk, was the Class 5 District 14 championship plaque.

Fort Osage High School boys basketball coach Josh Wilson walked into his office Monday and there, sitting on his desk, was the Class 5 District 14 championship plaque.

“I guess I didn’t dream it,” joked Wilson, whose Indians downed Kearney 56-54 to claim the first district title in program history Friday night at William Chrisman High School.

“It was an amazing game. The guys worked so hard. It was just a total team effort.”

The win pushes the 14-13 Indians into sectional play, where they will meet Blue Springs South coach Jimmy Cain’s 22-5 Jaguars at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Independence Events Center.

The two teams met during the regular season and the Jaguars claimed a 67-45 victory.

“We’re a much better team now, than we were when we played the first time,” Wilson said.
That’s a comment South players agree with.

“If they’re playing now, they’re good,” said South senior center Wesley Poke, who will take on an Indian front line that towers over his 6-foot-3 frame.

“I play against guys bigger than me, every game, that’s nothing new. Even though we beat them by a lot the first time, I remember how physical they were and how hard they worked.

“We better show up ready to play. I know coach Cain will address that, and so will the rest of us seniors.”

While the Indians claimed their first district championship, the ninth-ranked Jaguars downed Lee’s Summit North for the first time in the past three years in the title game and won their first district crown since 2006.

“We upset a Truman team that was supposed to win it all,” Cain said of the program’s previous crown. “That was the team that had Steve Moore (who is now playing at the University of Missouri) and all those great players.

“We won that game in an upset. Fort is a very good team and Josh is doing a great job with his kids. I don’t want our kids to look back at that first game and think it’s going to be that easy, because it’s not.

“They have size – goodness, do they have size – and they play hard. The team we’re going to play Wednesday is going to be so much better than the team we played in December.”

Because of their teams’ dramatic victories in their respective district title games, both coaches want to guard against any type of a letdown.

“Our guys are all in this together,” Wilson said. “When we break our huddle, we used to say, ‘Team.’ Now, we say, ‘Us.’ Everyone is excited and everyone is on the same page.”
Ditto for Cain’s squad.

“The best thing about our team is that everyone has a role and everyone is comfortable with that role,” Cain said. “We have great senior leadership and the guys are so excited about getting to this level.
“The win over Lee’s Summit North was special, because they’d beat us the last two years, but it doesn’t mean much of anything unless we win Wednesday,” Poke said. “We’re not thinking about the past or the future. Just the present, and the Fort Osage Indians.”