Lindbergh High girls soar over Oakville to capture Class 5 District championship

By STEPHEN GLOVER

After jumping out to an 18-11 lead after one quarter, the Lindbergh High School girls’ basketball team won the Class 5 District 8 championship with a 54-47 win over Oakville Friday night.

“One of the things we talked about was coming out and playing hard from the start,” Lindbergh head coach Bill Thoele said. “We knew that Oakville wasn’t going to give up because they’re a very good team.”

Lindbergh (18-9, 6-2 Suburban West) extended its lead to 31-23 at halftime as Oakville (14-10, 4-3 Suburban West) trimmed the Flyers’ lead to 42-37 after three quarters. But the Flyers held off Oakville in the fourth quarter with a 12-10 run en route to the seven-point win.

“We had too many turnovers to start out, which put us in the hole,” Oakville head coach Ron Thompson said. “In the fourth quarter, we got Lindbergh’s lead down to three, but we had to start fouling them, so they got it back up to seven.”

Oakville’s Nicole Norberg led all scorers with an 18-point effort that included an 8-for-10 showing at the free-throw line and 17 rebounds. The senior forward finished the season with 401 points, an average of 16.7 points per game.

“She had to fight for everything throughout the whole game,” Thompson said of Norberg. “She pretty much kept us in the game and it was obvious that she didn’t want this to be her last game.”

Freshman Keona Blair led the Flyers with 16 points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal. Blair is averaging nearly 10 points per game in seven outings this season with the varsity squad.

“Keona’s a freshman that came up after the freshman season was over,” Thoele said. “She’s a smart player that really stepped it up for us and she’s been averaging almost 10 points a game since she’s come up.”

Also scoring in double figures for Lindbergh was Brittany Casey, who had 10 points and nine rebounds. The junior center is averaging 11.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.

“Sometimes Brittany gets down on herself,” Thoele said. “So we talked to her about how we needed her to come out positive and have a big game for us and she did that.”

The Flyers will be back in action at 6 p.m. Wednesday when they face Hazelwood East (18-10, 5-2 Suburban North) in the Class 5 sectional at St. Louis Community College-Meramec.

Hazelwood East won the Class 5 District 7 championship with a 68-59 win over Suburban North Conference champion Hazelwood Central.

“Hazelwood East likes to get into a transition game where they play a full-court defense,” Thoele said. “They’re going to pressure us and try to force some turnovers.

“But we’ve played some tough teams and I think the key is that we need to have the game called like a normal basketball game. If that happens, then I think we’ll be fine.”