• Loss brings out the best in Jaguars

  • The best brought out the best in Blue Springs South.

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  • The best brought out the best in Blue Springs South.
    Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Jaguars battled hard to the end before falling to unbeaten Springfield Kickapoo 72-63 in the Cardinals Division semifinals of the William Jewell Holiday Basketball Tournament Wednesday. A nine-point third quarter and failing to stop Ryan Rippee and Tyler Hall cost South.
    Rippee poured in 30 points and Hall 24. They scored 18 of 22 Chiefs baskets. No other Chief scored more than four points.
    Still, the Jaguars had reason to be proud.
    “It was a great effort and gave us a chance to win,” said South coach Jimmie Cain.
    When Kickapoo (10-0) opened up a 55-43 lead early in the fourth quarter the Jaguars fate appeared obvious.
    But behind D.J. Booker’s 10 points and a Drake Patterson 3-pointer the Jaguars stormed back to within 66-63 with 50 seconds remaining.
    But the poised and talented Chiefs used Hall’s basket and two free throws and two more Rippee free throws to squelch the Jaguars’ upset bid.
    “I don’t want to say they are the best team we’ve played but they are pretty good,” said Cain.
    Booker finished with 21 points, Wesley Poke added 11 and Darrion Geiger and Drake Patterson scored 10 each in the typical balanced South effort.
    “It was a lot of fun,” Booker said of the game. “It would have been nice to get to the championship game. Coach kept us motivated. We all feed off one another.”
    If not for the third quarter. It well could have been South in the finals. Geiger’s five points and Poke’s four were the only points the Jaguars could score in the quarter.
    “We couldn’t get the ball inside and they could,” Cain said. “They play well together. They have lots of experience.”
    South used 17 of 23 free-throw shooting to stay close. The Chiefs were 24 of 33. South hit 40 percent of its shots and the Chiefs 52.
    Patterson pulled down eight and Poke six as South led 32-29 in rebounds.
    “It’s a good team,” Patterson said of Kickapoo. “They took advantage of our mistakes. I knew we would play hard. We will use it as fuel for the next game.”
    The next game is against Park Hill South at noon today for third place in the division.

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