David Farmer was pleased Blue Springs had a fifth-place trophy to show for its 60-58 nail-biting win over St. Joseph Central in the Bank Midwest/William Jewell Holiday Classic Tuesday.

But the senior forward also felt that the Cardinal Division meeting taught the Wildcats an important lesson they need to apply to the second half of their season.

David Farmer was pleased Blue Springs had a fifth-place trophy to show for its 60-58 nail-biting win over St. Joseph Central in the Bank Midwest/William Jewell Holiday Classic Tuesday.
But the senior forward also felt that the Cardinal Division meeting taught the Wildcats an important lesson they need to apply to the second half of their season.
“(We need to work on) just controlling a lead and just making sure that we don’t let (opponents) get close, like they were toward the end of that game,” Farmer said minutes after the victory at William Jewell College’s Mabee Center.
The Wildcats led 16-8 after one quarter, 34-25 at halftime and held double-digit leads during the third and fourth quarters. But they needed clutch foul shots from Farmer and fellow senior Greg Wisner to hold off the Indians, who made it a two-point game twice during the final 23.9 seconds.
Clay Linebach rattled in a 3-pointer with 23.9 seconds left to cut Blue Springs’ lead to 57-55. Farmer answered with two free throws with 20.9 seconds left.
“I just concentrated, just blocked out all the noise and just pictured the ball going through the hoop,” said Farmer, who finished with 11 points.
Fellow senior Greg Wisner made the first of two foul shots for the last of his team-leading 18 points with 6.8 seconds remaining to make it 60-55 Blue Springs.
“I didn’t really concentrate on that second one,” Wisner said.
Linebach made it a two-point ballgame again by hitting another trey with .3 of a second left for the last of his game-high 29 points.
After the basket, Blue Springs heaved a baseball-style pass down the court. Central stole it and heaved up a long, errant desperation shot as time expired, but it fell short.
To Central coach Neal Hook, Central’s late surge involved more than Linebach’s baskets.
“We picked up the intensity and extended our pressure, which we weren’t able to do earlier in the game. We dug ourselves a little hole,” Hook said. “But once we got some deflections, we got some things to go our way, that gave us a little run and we got back into it. Plus, we hit some shots down the stretch, which we didn’t do in the third quarter.”
The down-to-the-wire finish worried the Wildcats, according to coach Frank Wheeler.
“We weren’t able to score,” Wheeler said. “I didn’t think we attacked the basket very well against their pressure late. They made shots down at the end and did the things to keep it close and give themselves a chance to win.”
The win over the Indians (6-3) put the Wildcats at 5-5 as they take a brief rest before their conference meeting at Raymore-Peculiar on Tuesday and their appearance in the Freeman Sports Medicine Kaminsky Classic in Joplin on Jan. 8.
“We’re going to have played a lot of basketball by the first week of January,” Wheeler said.