Flyers take consolation bracket in tourney

By ROBERT CHALUPNY

For the Call

The Lindbergh High School boys’ basketball team won the consolation championship of the Dave Sinclair Memorial Invitational Saturday, defeating Jackson 48-32.

The Flyers (11-6), who hosted the tournament, fell to Rockwood Summit 37-57 Jan. 19 to open play, but rebounded Friday against Jackson JV, winning 53-41.

Lindbergh head coach Jason Wolfard told the Call his players stepped up their game against Jackson in the absence of one of their leading scorers, point guard Blake Welch, who suffered a slight ankle injury the week before against Vianney.

“My guys really fought back and beat a good Jackson team. It was a really solid game after losing that first night,” he said. “We really played pretty bad on Thursday night (Jan. 19) and last night (Friday) we didn’t play great. We kind of struggled to get guys to step up. With Blake (Welch) being out, it kind of hurts us because he makes us go and today (Saturday) a lot of guys really stepped up.

“I thought Nick Deloch really stepped up. Dan Watkins played a real good game. Joe (Killian), of course, shot really well and kept us that lead. It was a huge win for us.”

Killian, who scored 19 points, including three three-pointers, said he was just trying to do his part.

“I was just trying to get my shot. I know we needed some scoring since our point guard’s out, our best player, so I was looking for my shot and hit it,” Killian said.

The squad is just happy to get back to winning, Killian said.

“We are trying to come back, but it’s been tough without having our point guard,” he said. “I think we are doing good now. We are ready to play Vianney again.”

The Flyers took a tough 53-29 loss to 17-0 Vianney on Jan. 13. The loss was tough not just because it was to their all-time rival, but Vianney is undefeated and now will have to be defeated in district play.

“Against Vianney we always want to do our best, and we were disappointed that we didn’t. We just didn’t give our best effort. But they’re really good,” Wolfard said. “I mean plain and simple, they are undefeated, 24th in the nation and No. 1 in the area for a reason.

“I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t give our best, but they also played us really really well. We knew we had to bounce back,” he continued. “And we came back after that and Tuesday night (Jan. 17), got a big win (against Fox) … That’s one thing about our team this year, we’ve never lost two in a row. We always bounce back after a loss so I’m real proud of the guys for that.”

Wolfard said his focus is to simply get his players healthy and on the same page.

“Getting Blake back healthy, getting everyone healthy — just kind of getting back on line with what we are trying to do,” he said. “Practice time this week will help. We are pretty tired and beaten up a little bit. This time of year, (we’re just trying) to get everything set up and in line for when it comes district time and just do our best to try win each game.”