The finality sunk in for Blue Springs senior Lizzy Wendell sometime Friday night and carried over through Saturday morning. After a four-year career that included 129 games, Wendell and a group of three other Wildcats seniors were left with only one more — and it was a game none of them wanted truly wanted to play.
So following its loss to Columbia Rock Bridge on Friday in the Missouri Class 5 girls semifinals, those Blue Springs seniors met with one another to discuss how they should approach a third-place game.
“We were playing the game either way, so we might as well play our best,” Wendell said matter-of-factly.
In this particular situation, there has been nobody better defensively. Ever.
Blue Springs bounced back to win the Class 5 third-place game, holding Cor Jesu to a record-low output in a 45-13 win Saturday.
Cor Jesu’s 13 points are the lowest in Missouri history in a third-place game. Blue Springs, 29-3, limited Cor Jesu to four made field goals in the game and held the Chargers scoreless in the third quarter.
In turn, the Wildcats’ seniors finished their careers with a record of 115-15 along with four appearances in the state semifinals.
“I was very impressed with the effort and the energy we came out from start to finish,” Wildcats coach Mark Spigarelli said in an emotional interview. “It was a good way for the seniors to finish their careers.”
It was a particularly nice finish for Wendell, who nearly finished off her high school career with a triple-double. She scored 15 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had eight steals.
Laura Milles led Cor Jesu with three points.