The pregame plan was to scrap hard for the first three quarters, then try to win the game in the fourth.
But the Jefferson City Lady Jays were too far behind when it came to the final eight minutes.
"When we made our run, we were a little too far down to make it too interesting," Jefferson City coach Shane Meyer said Saturday night after the Lady Jays fell 44-31 to the Blue Springs South Lady Jaguars in the semifinals of the State Farm Holiday Hoops Invitational at Rackers Fieldhouse.
The game was knotted at 6 before the Lady Jaguars closed the opening quarter with a 9-4 run to take a five-point lead. Blue Springs South then outscored Jefferson City 16-2 in the second quarter to take a 31-12 advantage into halftime.
"The quarter got away from us and we were too far back to get into it again," Meyer said.
The Lady Jaguars hit six 3-pointers in the first half, three in each quarter.
"To their credit, they knocked some shots down," Meyer said. "Plus, when I think we look at the tape, I think we're going to see a few things that we had talked about doing that we didn't or didn't react quick enough.
"But there's no doubt when they got open looks, they were knocking them down and that allowed them to extend to play with the lead."
The Lady Jays started to put things together offensively in the third quarter, hitting nearly 50 percent of their shots as they trailed 39-19 heading into the final period.
Jefferson City put things together on both ends of the floor in the fourth quarter, outscoring Blue Springs South 12-5. The Lady Jays got to within 10 at 41-31 with 3:47 left, but couldn't score again.
Meyer was proud his team only allowed 13 points in the final two quarters.
"We played with a little more with an edge, we were taking some things on a little better," Meyer said. "Also, they weren't making as many shots and that helped us.
"But we were definitely defending better."
Raven Davenport finished with a game-high 16 points for the Lady Jaguars (6-2), including four 3-pointers. Cloe Lane added 11 points while pulling down eight rebounds.
Megan Foster had 15 points to lead the Lady Jays (4-5), all in the second half. Kezia Martin added 11 for Jefferson City, which was hurt by a 2-of-10 performance at the free-throw line.
Jefferson City will face St. Joseph Benton in the third-place game at 4:30 p.m. today at Rackers Fieldhouse.
"We have our work cut out for us again (today)," Meyer said. "Their kids play hard, they get after you on the defensive end, but that's what you get in this tournament."
Blue Springs South will square off with Hickman for the tournament title at 6 p.m. It is a rematch of the title game in the Blue Springs/Blue Springs South Tournament in mid-December, won by Hickman 74-61.