Freshman Lizzy Wendell came off the bench and made life miserable for Lee’s Summit West on both ends of the court.

Freshman Lizzy Wendell came off the bench and made life miserable for Lee’s Summit West on both ends of the court.

And Wendell’s Blue Springs teammates hit 26 of 31 free throws to claim a 59-47 Class 5 District 14 semifinal win over Lee’s Summit West Thursday night at Blue Springs South High School.

The 22-3 Wildcats will meet 17-9 Lee’s Summit North, a 30-28 winner over Lee’s Summit, at 7 p.m. Saturday in the championship game at South.

“She sure didn’t play like a freshman tonight, did she?” asked Wildcats coach Mark Spigarelli. “Lizzy was the one real bright spot we had the first half.

 “We didn’t get a whole lot done offensively in the first half until she hit those two big threes and her defense was outstanding – just outstanding!”

Cee Cee Burris, who scored a game-high 20 points, hit 6 of 8 free throws in the first quarter and added a layup to score eight of the Wildcats’ 10 points as they took a 10-6 lead into the second period.

After West’s Katherine Douglas hit her second 3-pointer of the second quarter, Wendell came off the bench and forced three consecutive turnovers.

The Wildcats converted those turnovers into six points. When she wasn’t picking the Titans’ pockets, Wendell was draining 3-pointers.

She hit back-to-back 3-pointers and added a layup off a steal to score eight points.

“I don’t really see myself as a big offensive player or a defensive player, I just want to help the team win,” Wendell said. “I’ve worked a lot on my defense. This is my best defensive game. I’m glad it came in a big game we had to win.”

The top-seeded Wildcats went into the fourth quarter with what appeared to be an insurmountable 47-35 lead, but the never-say-die Titans scored the first nine points of the quarter to trail just 47-44 with 3:51 to play.

“We never panicked, although we weren’t playing very good ball at the first of the fourth quarter,” Burris said. “We just needed to settle down and play our style of basketball.”

Tyonna Snow ended the Blue Springs scoring drought with an and-one three-point play, and Burris followed with an identical play to give the Wildcats a 53-44 advantage that was never challenged.

The Wildcats sank all eight of their free throws in the fourth quarter with Jamesia Price hitting all four of her attempts.

“We’re a good free-throw shooting team,” Burris said. “We work a lot on free throws at practice. But tonight, I think it was our defense that allowed us to win this game.

“Lizzy came in and did a great job and we worked hard on our help defense and denying them the ball.

“It just feels good to win your first district game. Now, we have to keep working hard so we can get another win Saturday night.”

Emiah Bingley led the 14-13 Titans with 13 points and Keyanna Anderson came off the bench to hit all five of her layups and two free throws to finish with 12 points.

Snow finished with 12 points and Price added 11 for the Wildcats. Wendell finished with eight points.

LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH 30, LEE’S SUMMIT 28: Lee’s Summit North avenged two earlier losses to cross-town rival Lee’s Summit – but just barely.

Leading by a few points most of the game, the Broncos escaped with the two-point win when Lee’s Summit’s Aly Mosier missed on two free throws with 1.1 seconds left.

“It’s nice to be in that role as the one leading instead of chasing like we have against them this year,” Broncos coach Tricia Lillygren said. “And we were able to get it to bounce our way at the end.”

North led by five but the Tigers’ Desiree Smith drained a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two. North missed the front end of a one-and-one before fouling Mosier.

Lauren Dudenhoeffer led the way for the Broncos, scoring 15 points and nabbing seven rebounds. Ashley Creason added six points “and several key assists” according to Lillygren.

Smith finished with 10 points to lead Lee’s Summit, which finished 13-11.

Now North hopes to avenge another two losses to Blue Springs in the final at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“We need to bring our ‘A’ game, minimize turnovers, play great defense, rebound well and play better as a team,” Lillygren said. “If we distribute the ball well, we have a chance, but we’ve got our work cut out for us.”