The Blue Springs South boys basketball team did more than enough to win its first game in the American Family Insurance Holiday Classic at William Jewell College. But Jaguars coach Jimmy Cain certainly doesn’t Wednesday’s effort against St. Joseph Central to become the norm.

The Blue Springs South boys basketball team did more than enough to win its first game in the American Family Insurance Holiday Classic at William Jewell College. But Jaguars coach Jimmy Cain certainly doesn’t Wednesday’s effort against St. Joseph Central to become the norm.

The unbeaten Jaguars, top seed in the Nelson Division, never were in danger after the early minutes of the second quarter and coasted to a 64-56 win over the Indians. Regardless, the path to Friday’s semifinal meeting with Pleasant Hill is one Cain would not prefer to duplicate too much.

“I want to give credit to St. Joe Central for doing a lot of good things,” he said. “The game lacked a lot of energy and emotion from us.”

Andrew Wright’s transition layup in the closing seconds gave Blue Springs South an 18-12 lead at the first stop. Starting the second quarter, the Jaguars got a baseline spin move for two from Kevin Puryear and turned a Central turnover into Kendall Blanton’s three-point play to push their lead to double digits for the first time.

South’s lead maxed out at 16 (34-18 on a Blanton dunk), but it never let Indians get closer than eight. The Jaguars’ defensive quickness produced some turnovers, but some breakdowns there and nine second-half cough-ups on the offensive end kept Cain from whistling a happier tune afterward.

“We made enough plays, and offensively we’ve played well enough to score points,” he said. “I think we’ve scored at least 60 in every game.

“Defensively, that’s where we hang our hat on, and I didn’t see our defense come remotely close to the energy level we need. Whether we play at noon the day after Christmas or 7 p.m. on a Friday night, we have to have that consistent effort.”

Puryear, a 6-foot-7 sophomore led South way with 22 points, including a pair of his own slams, while Carl Martin added 12 points, Justin Pitts 11 and Blanton eight. Pitts also snared four of his team’s 10 steals.

Shun Williams netted 22 points, half of them at the free throw line, and grabbed 13 rebounds to pace the Indians (3-4). Derek Gray added 14 points and Ceyonte Bell 11.

“St. Joe Central’s a great team,” Martin said. “They saw us cruising and definitely put pressure on us. Our defense, it wasn’t the best, but it helped us out some.”