With a half moon hanging over Wilbur Young Park, a strong forehand by Isabella Bowling ended a marathon District 14 tennis semifinal match.

With a half moon hanging over Wilbur Young Park, a strong forehand by Isabella Bowling ended a marathon District 14 tennis semifinal match.

Bowling’s shot helped host Blue Springs South down crosstown rival Blue Springs 5-3. In district team play, the first squad to reach five wins is declared the winner.

As her teammate hit the match-clinching shot, Liia Butler let out a deep sigh of relief.

“It was so great to play with Isabella and win this doubles match,” said Butler, who teamed with Bowling on the Jaguars’ No. 3 doubles team, “because I didn’t play very well in my singles match.

“To be on the team that helps us win this district match is very special. It was a long match, but worth it. I just hope I don’t fall asleep driving home.”

The Jaguars will play St. Teresa’s this afternoon at Rockhurst University to determine the district champion.

Blue Springs South’s Morgan Clark, Leah Bell, Erica McClain and Bowling won singles matches and Bowling and Butler teamed at No. 3 to claim the biggest win of the night.

“I tried not to look at what was going on on the other courts, but I did sneak a couple of looks,” said Bowling, after she and Butler downed the Wildcats’ Lauren Berndt and Lyndsay Schuering, 7-5, 6-0.

“I kind of knew what was going on, but I also knew that if we won, it was all over. It’s just a great feeling to win this match.”

Blue Springs’ Tara Sheehy and Kimisha Peterson won singles matches and Peterson teamed with Jody Goers to win the No. 2 doubles match.

The No. 1 doubles match was in the third set when the Jaguars were declared the winners.

“I am so, so proud of the girls, because we lost four seniors and last year I played No. 3 singles, and here we are in the same place (in postseason) we were last year,” said Clark, the No. 1 singles player for South.

“We won four singles and knew we had to win just one doubles match, and I am so proud of Liia and Isabella. When they won, it was like, ‘What a relief!’ ”

Despite losing to the Jaguars, Peterson was proud of her team’s effort.

“You want to win as many singles matches as you can, to take some of the pressure off the doubles teams,” said Peterson, who also won in doubles action. “We put up a good fight. I’m proud of the team.”

So is Wildcats coach Carrie McAtee.

“They beat us 7-2 in the regular season,” McAtee said. “The girls came over here and played well. There were a lot of close matches.”

The Jaguars won’t have long to enjoy the victory as they gear up for today’s match against perennial power St. Teresa’s.

“We’ll see what happens against St. Teresa’s,” South coach Craig Dierking said. “We lost four very talented seniors and the underclassmen have done a great job this year. I couldn’t be any prouder of the girls.

“Liia and Isabella went out and won that huge No. 3 doubles match. It was great to see the girls all so excited.”