Notebook: Jaguars take aim on a girls basketball first

02/04/2014 12:01 PM

02/04/2014 12:01 PM

Blue Springs South is in the thick of a race for a girls basketball conference championship. Such opportunities haven’t come around too often.

Actually, make that never. In the school’s 21-year history, the Jaguars are without a conference title in girls basketball.

That may change this season.

Blue Springs South improved to 3-1 in the Suburban Gold Conference with a 44-34 win against Blue Springs on Thursday — its first win against the rival Wildcats in eight seasons. Remy Davenport recorded her 1,000th point during the milestone night.

Blue Springs South and Liberty are tied atop the Suburban Gold Conference standings.

“We lost some close games last year, and one of the things we’ve been doing is changing that course,” second-year Jaguars coach Brad Oyler said. “We’re winning some of those games we would have lost last year.”

Another example came Monday, when Blue Springs South opened the Northland Classic with a 61-59 victory against North Kansas City, the host school. The Jaguars, 13-4, will face unbeaten Kearney in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday — weather pending, of course.

All eight teams in the tournament entered Monday’s opening round with at least a .500 record.

“Look at the field — this is going to be a really good measuring stick,” Oyler aid. “We’re going to play three tough games no matter what happens. It’s perfect to prepare us for this last stretch in our conference.”

Boys game of week: Grandview at Liberty North, 8 p.m. Friday

Any matchup involving Liberty North is a safe bet these days to produce a competitive basketball game. Just look at the Eagles’ results. Their past nine games have all been decided by single digits, and they have played three overtime games this season. Each of their six losses have been decided by six points or fewer.

A tilt with Grandview should be no different. Liberty North, 11-6, and Grandview, 11-5, are the only two remaining unbeaten teams in the Suburban Blue Conference.

Liberty North is trying to repeat as conference champions, an effort led by senior post player Brinkley Jolly, the team’s leading scorer. Jolly reached 1,000 career points earlier this season.

Grandview has dropped three of five since its 9-2 start, but the Bulldogs have plenty of offensive firepower with point guard Tyrone Taylor (19.4 points per game), Nelson Nweke (12.1), Damon King (9.5) and Nathan Scott (7.7).

Girls game of week: Fort Osage at William Chrisman, 5:30 p.m. Friday

Only two of the seven teams in the Suburban White Conference have posted losing records in league play this season. That leaves the race for the conference championship wide open over the final month of the season.

Fort Osage, 10-7, is running on the inside track with four wins in its first six conference games. Raven Bunn leads the Indians at 15.1 points per game.

William Chrisman is trying to bounce back after a pair of tough losses. The Bears, 8-9, fell in overtime to North Kansas City last week before dropping a two-point loss to Liberty two days later. But they remain only one loss back in the conference standings.

William Chrisman shares the scoring load. Haley Rodriguez paces the team at 11.4 points per outing.

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