Moments after Blue Springs High School girls basketball coach Mark Spigarelli watched his Wildcats down Ruskin 87-13 in Monday night’s opening game of the Lee’s Summit North Bronco Varsity Invitational, a booming voice from the stands cried, “No. 400!”

Moments after Blue Springs High School girls basketball coach Mark Spigarelli watched his Wildcats down Ruskin 87-13 in Monday night’s opening game of the Lee’s Summit North Bronco Varsity Invitational, a booming voice from the stands cried, “No. 400!”

Spigarelli smiled, nodded toward the fan and walked with his team to the locker room.

As the players joined their friends and parents in a hallway outside of the gymnasium, they were asked about being a part of the milestone victory.

“That was No. 400 for Spig?” asked senior Cee Cee Burris, who scored 19 points in the rout. “Dang, he never tells us anything.”

Lizzy Wendell, a sophomore who also scored 19, had much the same reaction.

“That was No. 400?” she asked. “He didn’t tell us anything about it.”

Junior Tyra Snow added, “Spig never talks about anything before he came here to Blue Springs. We’ve had a lot of success the last two years with him, and we hope he wins another 400 as a Wildcat.”

Like his players, Spigarelli also downplayed the milestone victory.

“Four hundred wins just means I’m old,” Spigarelli said, laughing. “I don’t want to talk about No. 400 – I want to talk about what I saw tonight. I saw a team having fun, playing as a team and doing everything really well.

“We play so many tough opponents – including some we will face in this tournament – that it was nice the girls could get their feet wet with an opening game like this.”

While the Wildcats had five players in double figures, all anyone wanted to talk about was their defensive excellence.

“We have worked so hard on defense,” Burris said, “and it really showed tonight. That’s not the best team we’re going to face this year, but we really wanted to come out and make a defensive statement.”

They did – as the Wildcats forced 31 turnovers and 15 in the first eight minutes.

The Eagles did not get the ball past midcourt until the 4:20 point of the first quarter and did not score until the 3:10 mark, when J’Kiya Kanoush hit a long jump shot.

After one quarter the score was 34-6. The Wildcats led 61-8 at the half and 81-12 before a mercy clock was introduced the final eight minutes.

“You never want to embarrass an opponent,” Spigarelli said, “and we were careful not to do that. We took off our press and our man defense and we didn’t shoot many threes.

“But we played an up-tempo game, to see how the girls would respond, and we played some great defense tonight.”

Joining Burris and Wendell in double figures were Azia Washington with 16 points and Snow and Karyla Middlebrook, with 12 each.

As Spigarelli walked out of the North sports complex, there were no balloons, post-game treats or cards – just the satisfaction of a job well done – for the 400th time in his career.

The Wildcats played without senior guard Brittany Clement, who strained her MCL and suffered a bone contusion in a holiday practice session with a teammate.

“I dove for a ball in practice and a girl dove on top of me and I got hurt,” Clement said. “I’ll be on crutches for two weeks, then we’ll see what happens.”