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story.lead_photo.caption Elise Lauf of Helias and Madie Schemmel of St. James Academy collide as they battle for possession of the ball during Saturday's game at the Crusader Athletic Complex. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / News Tribune.

It went the full 80 minutes.

The Helias Lady Crusaders can take some positives away from that.

"It was great to see our young girls keep it from that eight and ending it early," Helias coach Jay Hebenheimer said Saturday after falling 7-0 to the St. James Academy Lady Thunder in the final game of the Helias Shootout at the Crusader Athletic Complex.

"We got excited about that at the end of the game."

St. James Academy, from Lenexa, Kan., was a state champion in 2019 and would have been a favorite to repeat if there had been a 2020 season.

"This is a quality program strong at nearly every position and playing someone like that will speed up our development," Hebenheimer said. "We're trying to grow this program into being something like they have attained."

The Lady Thunder got two goals in the first half from Patsy O'Brien to take the lead into intermission. The Lady Crusaders had just one shot in the first 40 minutes.

"When you play a team that strong, you hope girls take the opportunity to see what the next level is and use that as fuel to get to that next level," Hebenheimer said.

St. James Academy put the game away with four goals in the opening 12 minutes of the second half. O'Brien picked up a hat trick with a goal three minutes in, then Lexi Watts scored four minutes later to make it 4-0.

After a goal on a header after a corner kick, Betsy Laville wrapped up the goal barrage with a liner after a long run.

"They were just zinging it around, moving us where they wanted," Hebehmeimer said.

Lauren Steinlage tallied the final goal with a little more than 20 minutes remaining.

But the Lady Thunder weren't able to get that eighth goal to end the game early.

"You didn't see a lot of long faces on our bench, honestly, it was a bonding thing for us to go through it," Hebenheimer said.

It was a valuable experience for the Lady Crusaders.

"I love that they come here," Hebenheimer said. "It's a great program and playing great programs like that will help us get ready for down the road."

Helias (6-4) will play Monday at home against Union. The varsity-only game will start at 6 p.m.

Union also played in this weekend's Shootout, going 2-0 with wins against Sedalia Smith-Cotton (5-1) and Rock Bridge (2-1).

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