Missed free throws prove to be costly for Lindbergh girls against Jefferson City

By STEPHEN GLOVER

The Lindbergh High School girls’ basketball team learned a tough lesson Friday night — free throws will win or lose a game.

The Flyers (16-5, 4-1 Suburban West) led Jefferson City 49-47 after three quarters.

Despite shooting 60 percent from the free-throw line, however, Lindbergh missed several key shots from the charity stripe in a 65-58 loss to the Jays.

“We had several opportunities and missed the front end of some free throws,” Lindbergh head coach Bill Thoele told the Call. “All we had to do is make a couple of those free throws. But hopefully we’ll learn something from this.”

The Flyers have struggled lately after winning their first 11 games. The Flyers have gone 5-5 since Jan. 10, but their losses actually have come against some of the best teams in the state.

“Right now, we’re getting to the tough part of our schedule,” Thoele said. “Hopefully, when it comes time for districts, we’ll be well prepared.”

Keonia Blair led the Flyers with 22 points, three steals and one assist in the loss to Jefferson City. The sophomore guard is averaging 11.4 points and 1.7 rebounds per game. She currently leads Lindbergh with 63 steals.

“In the last month or so, she’s really been playing well,” Thoele said. “She can go inside and outside which becomes a challenge for the opposition.”

Lindbergh’s Emily Bozdeck also scored in double figures with 13 points and a team-leading 11 rebounds. The senior center is averaging 6.9 points per game with a team-leading 9.6 rebounds per game.

“Emily’s doing what we’ve always thought she was able to do,” Thoele said. “She’s really been hitting the boards for us this season.”

The Flyers are back in action at 7 p.m. Friday when they play host to Lafayette (15-5, 5-1 Suburban West).

Lafayette is riding a four-game winning streak as the Lancers hammered Marquette (7-14, 1-5 Suburban West) 59-36 Friday night. The Lancers’ Sam Stirmlinger scored 12 points and six assists while Kordynn Martin hammered out 11 points and four assists against the Mustangs.

“Lafayette’s pretty big, so the match-up will be difficult for us,” Thoele said. “What we’re going to need to do is really push the ball down the court and play our game.

“We’ll need to worry about what we’re doing as opposed to what Lafayette’s doing.”