All that’s missing from a recent Blue Springs High School practice session is The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love,” blasting over the PA system.

All that’s missing from a recent Blue Springs High School practice session is The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love,” blasting over the PA system.

This has been the season of peace, love and harmony for a 23-4 Wildcat squad that is gunning for its fourth consecutive Final Four appearance.

“This has been a fun season, a really fun season – and a successful season,” Blue Springs coach Mark Spigarelli said. “A great group of girls. No drama, no off-the-court issues like we’ve had to deal with in the past. Just basketball. And that’s how I like it, and more importantly, how the girls want it to be.”

Off-court friction between teammates, parents and coaches and enough drama to fill an entire evening of network programming made life difficult for Spigarelli and his team the past two seasons.

Yet Blue Springs always seemed to find a way to win when it counted the most.

The Wildcats will meet 21-6 Kearney at 3 p.m. this afternoon at the Independence Events Center. They know they need two more wins to reach their goal of a fourth final four appearance.

“It’s just relaxing, so much fun this season,” junior guard Tyra Bickham said. “We love each other. We really do. We do things away from school, meet up at school and I think that’s one reason why we’ve been so successful this season.”

Before the start of this season, the rumor mills were filled with chatter about the demise of Blue Springs.

They graduated Examiner Player of the Year Cee Cee Burris and Division I point guard Jamesia Price after finishing the state championship game in ugly fashion with technical fouls and on-court antics that cast a shadow over the program.

“All that was embarrassing,” said Tyonna Snow, a returning all-state player. “I look back on some of the things we went through and wonder how we did get through all that stuff.

“I mean, the coaches had us hand this stuffed doll bee to each other when we came off the bench and replaced a player on the court so there would be some interaction. That’s crazy. It worked, it made us closer and it was kind of fun, but to have to do something like that?

“There was a lot of drama, a whole lot of drama. But now, it’s all gone. We love each other. I make sure I see Lizzy (Wendell), Karyla (Middlebrook) and Tyra between every class.

“We get together at night, we have fun. We have one goal this season, and that’s winning. We’ll take it one game at a time and have a lot of fun doing it.”

Wendell and Middlebrook agree.

“I didn’t know basketball could be this much fun,” Wendell said. “We really love each other, and that’s what makes it fun.”

Middlebrook, a junior point guard who rarely seems to make the wrong decision on the court, adds, “This team has a will to win, a desire to win. In the past, we had team chemistry issues. We had issues that didn’t even deal with basketball. And thank goodness, all that is done. We can’t wait for our next game, just to see each other and talk.”

And have fun.