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Examiner
  • Wildcats return to championship

  • All-state forward Lizzy Wendell and her Blue Springs Wildcat teammates found themselves in familiar territory Wednesday night as they claimed a 60-31 victory over Pleasant Hill in the semifinals of the Blue Springs South-Blue Springs McDonald's Tournament.

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  • All-state forward Lizzy Wendell and her Blue Springs Wildcat teammates found themselves in familiar territory Wednesday night as they claimed a 60-31 victory over Pleasant Hill in the semifinals of the Blue Springs South-Blue Springs McDonald's Tournament.
    “We've played in the championship game every year I've been a part of the team, so you know how much I want to win another championship my senior year,” Wendell said of the tournament.
    “I thought we played our most complete game tonight. We haven't gotten off to the start we wanted, but if we keep playing like we played tonight, we should have a good season.”
    The 3-1 Wildcats lost 64-32 Sunday at state power Columbia Rock Bridge, but followed that win with a 95-11 laugher against Kansas City Southwest in the tournament opener Monday.
    Blue Springs nearly claimed a mercy-clock win Wednesday night as Wendell led all scorers with 25 points.
    All-state guard Karyla Middlebrook, who has been sidelined two games with an ankle injury, wasn't 100 percent but returned to the Wildcat lineup and added eight points.
    “It's funny how well we play and how we get into our offense when Lizzy gets hot,” said coach Mark Spigarelli, whose Wildcats meet Columbia Hickman at 5:15 p.m. Saturday in the championship game at Blue Springs South.
    “We got off to a slow start, but once we got into our offense we were OK. It wasn't as well as I'd like to see us play, but it was good enough to get a win.
    “What really pleased me tonight was our defense. We held a very good team to 31 points and it was nice to see Lizzy get on track offensively and get Karyla back in the lineup.”
    The game was close for one quarter as the Wildcats used Tyra Bickham's nine points to take an 18-16 lead after the first eight minutes.
    Wendell then scored the first six points of the second quarter and the rout was on as the Wildcats padded their lead to 32-20 by halftime.
    Wendell exploded for 10 points in the third quarter and spent much of the fourth quarter on the bench, cheering on the Wildcat reserves who finished the game.
    “We're getting better each game,” Wendell said. “We were all so disappointed in the way we played Sunday, and you can't tell much about your team in a 95-11 victory.
    “Tonight I thought we played four solid quarters and that's what we're going to need to do to win the championship Saturday night.”
     
     
     

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