Kendall Wingler experienced the lows of life and the highs of basketball within 48 hours.
Two nights after the unexpected death of her grandfather, the Meade County standout junior scored 32 points in a win at Frederick Fraize, alllowing her to surpass the 2,000-point barrier.
“Reaching this big milestone this year has been a goal of mine for a little while now,” she said. “My papaw recently passed away on January 30, and that’s all he talked about was me getting my 2,000 points and for me to get that was huge ’cause I know he was watching.
“It was just all around special for me as a player and for my family, my papaw especially.
“The goal for me was to get it that night. I knew how far I was away from the record and I was just so excited about it and I just wanted to get it for my papaw ’cause he was expecting me to get it Friday, too. So getting it was very special to me and I will always remember that night.”
The next step is for the Lady Waves to prepare for the 11th District Tournament during its final three regular season games — Friday at Nelson County, Tuesday hosting Thomas Nelson and Feb. 15 at Central Hardin.
Meade County is not sure of its seed yet. Breckinridge County has its final district game Friday and a win would give the Lady Waves and Lady Tigers 5-1 records. A coin toss would then determine the No. 1 seed when the tournament starts in Cloverport.
“We’ve put in some plays and special offenses to help get everyone involved,” said Wingler, who has 577 points in the season and is averaging 25.1 per game. “The big problem with us as a team is that each and every one of us lacks confidence in our abilities. We have to be confident whenever we have the ball, we have to be able to create our own shots. Every single team we have played this season, all the players are confident in either shooting, driving, or dishing and that’s what we have to do to make a run this year in districts and regions.”
Wingler is shooting 74.1 percent from the free throw line in 158 attempts and 37.3 percent from beyond the arc in 193 shots. She is averaging 8.4 rebounds a game and has 61 assists, 46 steals and 13 blocked shots.
“I never get tired of basketball,” Wingler said. “Even when I was playing both of the sports (the other being soccer), I loved both sports the same, but I never got burn out with basketball. Now, soccer I did get burn out a few times and I went to basketball to refresh myself before going back to play soccer again.
“When I’m not doing basketball, I’m either working out or working at the house — I’m always doing something even when I’m ‘off.’”
The next step individual step is setting her sites on the school record held by Morgan Turner, who now plays at Creighton.
“It’s been a goal of mine way before eighth-grade year,” Winger said. “I want to be the best player that has ever come out of Meade County. I want to be a role model for younger girls coming up through the program to always have a goal and to always work no matter what people say. A lot of people didn’t think that the record was ever going to be touched and I wanted to show people that it can be done.”