For one half, the Suburban Big Seven showdown between cross-town rivals Blue Springs and host Blue Springs South was a sizzler.

For one half, the Suburban Big Seven showdown between cross-town rivals Blue Springs and host Blue Springs South was a sizzler.

Just one point separated the two teams as they headed into the locker room, with the visiting Wildcats holding a 15-14 advantage.

Coach Mark Spigarelli’s Blue Springs squad then went on a 16-2 run to begin the third quarter and never looked back during a 55-28 victory that left Jaguars coach Fawna Harrison shaking her head.

“What happened in the second half?” asked Harrison, repeating the question. “Can I have a lifeline? Can I call Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) or Pat Summitt? It was self-destruction at its finest.”

A hustling, savvy Jaguars squad simply saw the wheels fall off in the second half as it was outscored 40-14 to fall to 7-10 overall and 1-5 in conference action.

“Turnovers,” Harrison added, “how many turnovers did we have in the second half? When you play an aggressive team like Blue Springs, turnovers lead to points.”

At one point in the third quarter, the Jaguars turned the ball over five straight times. That led to 10 points for the Wildcats (14-2), the sixth-ranked team in the state in Class 5.

“In the first half, if we forced a turnover, the ball always seemed to go out of bounds and we couldn’t get into our offense off our defense,” Spigarelli said after the Wildcats improved to 5-1 in the Suburban Big Seven. “In the second half, our transition game really got going. You know, we had three straight turnovers at the end of the first half and they converted them into points – so turnovers played a big role for both teams.”

The Wildcats scored the first eight points of the second quarter to take a short-lived 15-8 lead, but those three turnovers led to six unanswered Jaguar points and it was a one-point game at the break.

“We knew we had to two do things to begin the second half,” said Cee Cee Burris, who matched teammate Tyonna Snow for scoring honors with 12 points. “We had to be aggressive and smart with the ball.

“We had to try our best to force turnovers and convert them into points. That’s what we talked about at halftime, and that’s what we came out and did.”

The Wildcats scored the first eight points of the third quarter, then South’s Meredith Schyvinck hit a long jumper. Instead of collapsing, Blue Springs scored the next eight points and the game was basically over.

“I think we were real excited, real hyped up, when the game started,” Burris added, “and we didn’t play a real strong first half. It was a conference game at our rival’s gym, and we were just too excited.

“When we calmed down, we played real well the second half.”

Zakila Smith led the Jaguars with 10 points.

Blue Springs won a low-scoring junior varsity game 30-20.