Blue Springs boys soccer coach Michael Palermo isn’t sure if his team is meshing just in time for a deep postseason run. His squad has teased him throughout the season with stellar performances followed by inconsistent efforts, so he’s approaching its latest outing with caution.

Blue Springs boys soccer coach Michael Palermo isn’t sure if his team is meshing just in time for a deep postseason run. His squad has teased him throughout the season with stellar performances followed by inconsistent efforts, so he’s approaching its latest outing with caution.

But in Tuesday’s Class 3 District 14 semifinal match against Truman at Peve Stadium in Blue Springs, Palermo saw his guys put together what might have been one of their most complete games of the season in a 3-1 victory.

Things started shaky for the Wildcats (9-10) as Truman’s Greger Dalheim notched a goal in the sixth minute to put the Patriots up 1-0. But Connor Wheeler slipped a score past Truman goalkeeper Alex Villa off a pass from Austin Williams in the eighth minute to tie it and James Rusk drilled a goal off a free kick from Carlos Vasquez in the 30th minute to give Blue Springs a 2-1 lead.

“We came out and go down 1-0 right from the start, but after that we kind of turned things around and started playing our game,” Palermo said. “We tried to play to our strengths. We thought we had some mismatches on the outside and we took advantage of getting some good balls in.”

Not only that, but the Cats kept constant pressure by challenging Villa for balls in the air – something Palermo said he hasn’t seen his team do very often this season.

“I think that just came down to playing for your season,” said senior forward Kyle Brown. “And playing for my high school career.”

Vasquez, a senior defender, tallied another assist in the second half as he booted a perfect pass off a corner to Brown in the opening minute of the second half.

“He feeds so good,” Brown said of Vazquez. “Me and him, we’re always connected. Even on a goal that I missed, we always make eye contact. I know where he’s going, he knows where I’m going. It’s just very good team chemistry.”

After each regular-season contest between the two squads was decided by one goal, Truman coach Jared Byrne knew the margin of error for both teams was going to be small. He said it came down to Blue Springs executing its game plan just a little more effectively.

“We’ve faced them twice already and they played their best game tonight,” said Byrne, whose team finished the season 13-10. “We just didn’t come out to play today. ... They just kept possession and did everything that probably every coach in the area has been telling their players all season.”

Now the Cats get a final shot at second-ranked Lee’s Summit North in Thursday’s district championship. Blue Springs lost both regular-season matches by 3-0 scores. Palermo said it’s no secret what his strategy is going to be against the Broncos: Do whatever it takes to contain Michael Panarisi, the senior forward who has scored 43 goals this season.

“I’m going to mark him, I’m gonna double-team him,” Palermo said. “I may triple-team him. If someone beats us, maybe it will be some other player if we can keep him quiet.”

LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH 2, LEE’S SUMMIT 1: The Tigers came oh-so-close to pulling a major upset in Tuesday’s other semifinal at Peve Stadium.

Lee’s Summit led 1-0 late in the second half, but Panarisi knocked in a goal to tie the match in the 68th minute and force overtime. Three minutes into the extra session, North’s Bryce Gibson buried a header off a free kick to send the Broncos (17-2-2) to Thursday’s championship.