Blue Springs wasn’t ready for Grandview Tuesday.

Blue Springs wasn’t ready for Grandview Tuesday.

That was obvious to Blue Springs boys basketball coach Frank Wheeler after the Wildcats’ 72-48 drubbing by the Bulldogs in the William Jewell Holiday  Classic at William Jewell College.

“I don’t know … (if) coming off a good win (last week against Lee’s Summit) they thought they were just going to flip the switch (and be ready) or what,” Wheeler said. “But (regardless), we’re going to have to understand (that) we’re going to have to prepare harder than we did today.”

Senior guard Deiondre Hall, who contributed 10 points, liked the team’s intensity during the opening quarter. After that, “everything just died down,” he said.

“Our intensity level just dropped and it was downhill from there,” Hall said.

Still, the Wildcats managed to keep pace with the Bulldogs into the third quarter. Blue Springs (2-5) trailed 16-15 after a seesaw first quarter. During the second quarter, the Wildcats tied it twice before trailing 36-34 at halftime.

“I didn’t think we did much to slow them down in the first half,” Wheeler said. “But I did think we got about whatever we wanted on offense the first half.”

That changed the second half.

After making 16 of 25 field goals (64 percent) the first half, the Wildcats went 6 for 20 (30 percent) the second half. By contrast, the Bulldogs’ shooting dipped only slightly. After making 15 of 25 field goals (60 percent) the first half, they made 12 of 21 field goals (57.1 percent) the final two periods.

It was about midway through the third quarter when the Wildcats stopped getting what they wanted offensively – and the Bulldogs capitalized by running away with the first-round Nelson Division meeting. Leading 44-41, Grandview (5-3) launched a 20-2 run bridging the third and fourth quarters.

It appeared the run might be bigger. The Wildcats were scoreless for the first four minutes of the fourth quarter. Marvin Clark’s free throw with 4:00 left gave them their first point. His dunk with 3:30 gave them their first field goal.

Although Clark finished with 20 points, Bulldogs coach Randy Farris was pleased with Grandview’s defense against him.

“We told our kids before the game he was going to get some points,” Farris said. “He’s a very good player. But I thought we did just enough with him that we were able to win the game.”
With the win, the Bulldogs advanced to face Kansas City Central winner in the division semifinals at 6 p.m. Thursday. The Wildcats will face the West/Central loser in the consolation semis at noon Wednesday.