Lindbergh girls begin season with two wins, but fall to Ursuline in tourney championship

Lindbergh%27s+Keonia+Blair+goes+around+Ursuline%27s+Hailey+Massa+for+a+lay+up+in+the+Flyers+58-40+loss+to+Ursuline+in+the+championship+game+of+the+Fox+Invitational+last+Thursday+evening.++Stephen+Glover+photo

Lindbergh’s Keonia Blair goes around Ursuline’s Hailey Massa for a lay up in the Flyers 58-40 loss to Ursuline in the championship game of the Fox Invitational last Thursday evening. Stephen Glover photo

By STEPHEN GLOVER

With an average height of just 5 feet, 6 inches on this year’s roster, members of the Lindbergh High School girls’ basketball team understand that if they want to win, they’re going to have to run and out-hustle their opponents.

The Flyers opened the 2009-2010 season with a 65-25 win over Fox and a 65-48 win over Jennings in the first two rounds of the Fox Invitational. But in the championship game against Ursuline, Lindbergh suffered a height disadvantage as the Bears defeated the Flyers 58-40.

“We’re just not a big, strong, under-the-basket kind of team,” head coach Bill Thoele said. “We didn’t do a good job of taking care of the ball.

“We’re the kind of team that has to go into transition and play a full-court game while defensively putting a lot of pressure on them. We can’t afford to get caught into a half-court game with other teams.”

Keonia Blair led the Flyers with 19 points, three assists, two rebounds and one steal. The junior guard is averaging 17.3 points per game this season.

“Keonia had a great tournament,” Thoele said. “She’s really having a good start to the year and has been a spark plug for us on offense.”

Senior forward Alicia Ubriaco scored eight points for the Flyers, while also racking up seven rebounds, five steals and four assists in the loss.

“Alicia is our main person on defense,” Thoele said. “She’s a great team player who would rather take the assist rather than score the point. She’s the kind of person that makes us go.”

The Flyers return to action at 7 p.m. Friday when they travel to Northwest.

“They (Northwest) are even smaller than we are,” Thoele said. “So I think that we can match up with them really well on Friday.”