Will Harrington grabbed a hot dog from the concession stand, took a seat in the Blue Springs South High School bleachers and watched Blue Springs South claim a 71-56 Class 5 District 16 semifinal victory over Truman on Wednesday night.

Will Harrington grabbed a hot dog from the concession stand, took a seat in the Blue Springs South High School bleachers and watched Blue Springs South claim a 71-56 Class 5 District 16 semifinal victory over Truman on Wednesday night.

“That’s the way it should be,” said Harrington, a senior guard on the Class 5 No. 8-ranked Lee’s Summit North squad that topped Blue Springs 64-58 in Wednesday’s other semifinal.

“Everyone wants to see us and Blue Springs South play again, and it’s going to be a battle. I can’t wait.”

For the third year in a row, Jimmy Cain’s Jaguars and Mike Hilbert’s Broncos will play for the district crown.

The marquee matchup takes place at 7:15 p.m. tonight at Blue Springs South.

Last year, the Broncos won 60-55 and went on to claim a third-place finish at state.

“You know what they say about beating a good team three times in one season,” Hilbert said, referring to North’s two victories over South this season in Suburban Big Six Conference action, “well, we have two wins this year and we’ve been lucky enough to beat them the past two years for the championship.

“As good as South is, and as good as coach Cain is, you have to wonder if this is their year. We have so much respect for that program. We know we’re going to have to play our best game to get a third district championship.”

Cain, whose team is 21-5, hopes this is the Jaguars’ year to break through against the 20-5 Broncos.
“You saw them play (Wednesday), they do everything so well,” Cain said. “Harrington is their leader, but they have so many guys who can hurt you offensively and defensively.

“But we’re excited we’re playing them again. We talked about not overlooking Truman and thinking about North, and the kids did a great job with that.”

Senior guard D.J. Booker scored 19 points for the Class 5 No. 9 Jaguars, who need a strong inside presence from center Wesley Poke and a productive perimeter game from Booker and his backcourt teammates Justin Pitts and Carl Martin.

“We want to play North again, and now we get to do it,” Booker said. “It’s going to be a battle, but it’s also going to be fun. You dream about a game like that. It’s the game we’ve been thinking about all season, but we took each game one at a time to make sure we didn’t mess up our chances of playing them again.”

David Kornish, a 6-foot-10 center who is now playing at the University of California, was the go-to man for the Broncos last season.

This year’s team belongs to Harrington.

“This year’s team belongs to everyone,” Harrington said grinning. “On any night, someone can have a big game and help us win, and that’s what it’s going to take Friday night. If everyone turns it up and we play a great team game, we can win our third district championship in a row.

“Three in a row, that would be sweet.”