For the past four years, the Midwest Conference has been a fierce supporter of raising awareness for early detection of cancer by hosting “Play for the Cure” athletic events. This past Saturday, our Lady Blues and Blueboys basketball teams battled Lawrence not only for close friends and family affected by cancer, but in order to raise money for the National Foundation For Cancer Research, The Kay Yow Cancer Fund, and a local Relay For Life Chapter. The Lady Blues also specifically support WBCA Pink Zone which raises awareness of breast cancer and raises funds for other women’s cancer.
These games weren’t just typical “raise money for a good cause” event. These games were personal. These games were played for your cousin, your uncle, your friend’s mom, for the simple fact that cancer is now the #2 leading cause of death in America. For first year Lady Blues coach, Lora Westling, these games were for her uncle who is currently battling cancer and her grandmother, a breast cancer survivor.
In preparation for this important game, Coach Westling and assistant coach, Caitlin Moody, asked their team to sell “Play for the Cure” t-shirts before Saturday’s games, with all proceeds going towards charity in hopes that cancer awareness will spread.
Coach Westling believes, and rightly so, that “awareness is critical to early detection and research is the key to hopefully finding a cure in the not so distant future. Any and every little bit of support for this cause goes a long way.” During both the women and men’s games, donations were collected in the stands for charity.
The Blueboys trailed significantly at halftime, but made a tremendous comeback in the second half. Seniors Spencer Campbell, Brandon Berry, and Zeke Light combined for 47 of the team’s 79 points, while senior Justin Smith held down the defensive end with five steals. Despite an amazing comeback, the Blueboys lost to Lawrence 82-79. The boys are 7-7 in conference and 11-8 overall.
The Lady Blues improved their conference record to 9-5 with a 62-41 win over Lawrence. Senior Brittney Burgess led the team with 23 points and sank five three-pointers in the game while junior Hannah McGinnis assisted with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds and senior Holly Wohltman racked up 13 points with seven rebounds and seven assists.
Coach Westling spoke highly of her players by saying, “I am incredibly proud of our players for the amount of work and dedication they have put into this season so far…they are committed to their academics, continue to serve their community in various projects, and have exceeded many peoples’ expectations on the court so far as well.”
Both the Blueboys and Lady Blues have four important games left of the regular season and will travel to Cornell College on Tuesday, February 11.