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Examiner
  • Jags improve in semifinal win over Pleasant Hill

  • Blue Springs South boys basketball coach Jimmy Cain was concerned his players might start watching the scoreboard Friday night after they had built a commanding lead against Pleasant Hill.

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  • Blue Springs South boys basketball coach Jimmy Cain was concerned his players might start watching the scoreboard Friday night after they had built a commanding lead against Pleasant Hill.
    They didn’t.
    After opening with an 11-0 run and leading 21-2 when the first quarter ended, South went on to lead 39-20 at halftime and 71-34 after three quarters en route to a 79-39 win at William Jewell College. With the victory, the Jaguars (9-0) secured their spot in the Nelson Division finals of the American Family Insurance Holiday Classic.
    “I felt like, for the most part, we did a good job of continuing to just play every possession and doing things defensively that we’ve got to do to keep getting better,” Cain said.
    Senior guard Justin Pitts, who led South with 19 points and was among three Jaguars in double figures, agreed.
    “We were just trying to get better,” Pitts said. “Coach Cain said, ‘Don’t worry about the scoreboard, just use it as a game to get better.’”
    Pitts and Cain also agreed Friday’s performance was an improvement over the team’s showing in its 64-56 win over St. Joseph Central Wednesday at William Jewell. The Jaguars were “inconsistent” Wednesday, Cain said.
    “Tonight, I was much more pleased with the consistency of our defensive effort and our energy level,” Cain said.
    South played well “as a team” Friday, Pitts added. Moreover, the Jaguars’ intensity on defense “picked up” from where it had been Wednesday, he said.
    The Roosters must find a way to pick themselves up again after Friday’s loss, according to Pleasant Hill coach Ryan Messinger. And they must do so quickly. They’ll face Fort Osage in the Nelson Division’s third-place game at 10 a.m. Saturday at William Jewell.
    If all goes as Messinger has planned, facing teams such as South and Fort Osage will serve Pleasant Hill well.
    “Hopefully, as we get into January and February and we’re playing teams from our conference and things like that, it feels a little bit easier because we have (these games) as a frame of reference,” he said.
    South will face Lee’s Summit West for the division title at 6 p.m. Saturday at William Jewell. Although Cain was expecting the meeting to make for “an exciting evening,” sizing up the Titans wasn’t a concern.
    “Honestly, it may sound cliché, but we’ve got to worry about us right now,” Cain said. “We’re trying to get better every day.”
     
     
     
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