It wasn’t pretty but the end result was all that mattered for the Blue Springs girls basketball team in its season opener.

It wasn’t pretty but the end result was all that mattered for the Blue Springs girls basketball team in its season opener.

Karyla Middlebrook scored 16 points and Lizzy Wendell added 14 as the Wildcats held off Kearney 34-31 Thursday night. Tyra Bickham scored the other four Blue Springs points.

“That was part of the problem,” Blue Springs coach Mark Spigarelli said of the low point total.

Blue Springs needed most of a 24-14 halftime lead.

“We lost our defensive intensity and turned the ball over,” Spigarelli said of the second half. “The dominated us on the backboards. We probably got outrebounded 4-1. Still, we won.”

Blue Springs meets Columbia Rock Bridge at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Norm Stewart Classic at Columbia College in a rematch of last year’s Class 5 state finals. Rock Bridge prevailed 51-42.

“If we play like we did tonight, we’ll lose by 40 points,” Spigarelli said. “They are the best team in the state and ranked No. 1.”

GRAIN VALLEY 41, SEDALIA SMITH-COTTON 34: A solid second quarter proved to the difference as Grain Valley outlasted Smith-Cotton in the Marshall Tournament semifinals Thursday night.

“We wanted to play for first,” Grain Valley coach Randy Draper said.

The Eagles led 27-11 at the half.

“In the second quarter we were really good,” Draper said “We struggled in the second half and didn’t do many things right.”

Brianna Nichelson scored 12 points to lead the Eagles (2-0). Aerreon Parker added eight points and Kelsi Hill added six.

The Eagles face Kirksville at 8 tonight for the championship.


Antonio Johnson is making his presence felt on the St. Mary’s boys basketball team.

The senior transfer from now-closed Renaissance Academy poured in 30 points on five 3-pointers to lead the Trojans past Van Horn 55-43 Thursday night in the consolation bracket of the Summit Christian Academy Eagle Invitational tournament.

“He had a good all-around game,” St. Mary’s coach Carlos Paige said.
The Trojans (1-2) broke open the game by outscoring the Falcons 31-22 in the second half.

Duane Joseph, a transfer from Kansas City (Kan.) Ward, also had a big game for the Trojans with 19 rebounds.

“The chemistry is starting to come together,” Paige said. “We’re starting to play as a team.”

Anthony Winningham led Van Horn (0-2) with 16 points.

St. Mary’s faces University Academy at 8 tonight in the consolation final. Van Horn and Metro Academy clash in the seventh-place game at 5.

MARSHALL 66, GRAIN VALLEY 53: Marshall broke to a 36-24 halftime lead and went on to defeat the Eagles Thursday night in the Sedalia Sacred Heart Tournament.

Daniel Mahurin scored 21 points, Caleb McKay had 12 and Jordan Mahurin pitched in nine for the Eagles (1-1).

“We didn’t play very good,” Grain Valley coach Andy Herbert said.

The Eagles face host Sacred Heart at 7 p.m. Saturday.

LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH 60, LINCOLN PREP 44: Host North improved to 2-0 with the easy victory led by Tyler Anderson’s 19 points and Richard Chapman’s 14.

North led 31-22 at halftime.