Wildcats junior guard Kyle Bruce has keys to drive Blue Springs offense

Bill Althaus
The Examiner
Blue Springs point guard Kyle Bruce, left, brings the ball down court against Grain Valley's Keagan Hart (11) in Tuesday's Class 6 District 14 semifinal. The junior is what makes the Wildcats' explosive offense go.

Kyle Bruce is just a junior at Blue Springs High School, and he’s already behind the wheel of a Lamborghini – well, kind of.

“I got the keys to the Lambo,” Bruce said, chuckling, as his teammates nodded in agreement following a 77-54 win over Grain Valley Tuesday that put the Wildcats in Friday’s highly anticipated Class 6 District 14 championship matchup with Raytown, a team that is well-coached, physical and talent-rich, much like Bruce’s Wildcats.

“When I’m behind the wheel of our offense, I feel like we can do anything out there,” added the point guard, who has been the driving offensive force for the 18-5 Wildcats, who also feature Eli Wingert, Ike Ezeogu, Braden Appelhans and Bruce’s backcourt mate Mike Harrison.

“We know we better be ready when KB has the ball, because if we’re open, we’re going to get a perfect pass,” Harrison said. “He’s unselfish and only cares about the team. We’re like brothers out there and, man, it’s been fun.”

Wildcats coach Adam Jones said Bruce brings the spark to the team’s talented, versatile lineup.

“KB is so passionate about the game,” Jones said. “He brings high energy every time he plays, and like all the other guys on the team, all he cares about is winning.

“When I gave him the key to our offense, I knew it was going to be in good hands. He doesn’t get a lot of attention because of the big scorers like Eli, Braden and Mike – and he loves it! He’d rather get an assist than a basket any night.

Blue Springs junior point guard Kyle Bruce, top, will occasionally take the ball to the hoop, but most of the time he is the one getting it to the Wildcats' many scorers.

“And as long as we win, he’s going to have the biggest smile on the team.”

In a recent 81-46 rout of crosstown rival Blue Springs South, Jones and Bruce’s teammates couldn’t stop talking about him.

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“KB led us tonight, he led the offensive charge,” Jones said. “He deserves all the credit tonight. Eli and Braden had big offensive games, but so much of their success was a result of KB and what he did at the guard position.”

“KB was the man tonight,” added Appelhans, who scored 20 points in that game. “If I was open, he’d get me the ball. It was that way all night for all our guys.”

Wingert, who scored a game-high 28 points, added, “We all play so well together. KB is the perfect point guard for this team. If we’re open inside, he gets us the ball. If we’re not, we kick it back out to him and he hits a three.”

Bruce says the team chemistry comes from being teammates long before they were Wildcats.

“Most of us have played together since we were kids,” Bruce said. “We’d talk about what we were going to accomplish in high school, and this is the year we’ve been talking about forever.

“Every game is tough in the playoffs, because there’s a reason teams are still playing – they’re good. But our coaches have us ready, we’re just thinking about one thing – winning – and we can’t wait for Friday night.”