• Prep basketball notebook: Jaguars not happy despite win over rival

  • Brad Oyler was pleased with the end result, but not the path his Blue Springs South girls basketball team took to reach it.

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  • Brad Oyler was pleased with the end result, but not the path his Blue Springs South girls basketball team took to reach it.
    Mark Spigarelli was realistic in appraising the performance of his new-look Wildcats, as four starters graduated from last year's Blue Springs High School squad that reached the final four for a record fifth consecutive year.
    Despite some lapses, the Jaguars used a late 9-0 run to down the Wildcats 30-24 in summer-league play before a packed house at Blue Springs South High School.
    South led 19-10 at halftime and survived an 8-2 Wildcat run by scoring nine straight points on a Shannon Hughes' 3-pointer and back-to-back bombs by Remy Davenport.
    “We looked tired,” Oyler said after a lengthy postgame session with his team. “Way too much standing around. We didn't rebound at all – offensively or defensively – and we didn't play as well defensively as we have in the past.
    “When they cut our lead to three (21-18) in the second half, I thought about calling a timeout. But then I thought, they need to figure some things out for themselves. And they did – and we found a way to win.”
    Davenport said even a summer win over the Jaguars’ rival was special, because the Wildcats have dominated them in recent history.
    “We're a pretty good team and they graduated most of their starters, so we thought we were going to come in here and beat them, and then we don't play very well, and that's really disappointing,” said Davenport, who will be a senior this winter. “I thought we'd play a lot better than we did. We missed too many shots and didn't rebound very well. We're all happy we won, but we're disappointed in the way we played.”
    Spigarelii's team returns just one starter from last year, center Morgan McMahan, and he expects some growing pains.
    “We've taken it on the chin since the last time you saw us,” Spigarelli said. “We've lost badly to Lee's Summit North, Liberty and Blue Valley North. And we didn't play very well tonight, either.
    “Brad's kids are going to be good this season. They played well tonight and they went on that run after we made it a one possession game.”
    When asked if this was the most important summer-league series for his team, Spigarelli shook his head no.
    “Not really,” the veteran Wildcats coach said. “You can only do so much in the summer games. But it is the most important 25 contact days since I've been at Blue Springs. We work them hard every morning, and tonight they looked a little bit tired out there.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We're trying to find out who plays well with each other, develop some chemistry and we desperately need find some leaders. We had some great leaders last year – and they all graduated.”
    BRONCOS IMPRESS COACH: Even playing without three senior starters, the Lee's Summit North Broncos rolled to an easy 37-17 win over Hogan Prep.
    “You want to work on fundamentals and see which kids play the best with each other,” longtime North coach Tricia Lillygren said, “but they keep a score and you want to have success – especially with so many young players.
    “I've liked what I've seen this summer.”
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC

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