Returning players bolster Lindbergh girls’ basketball squad

By STEPHEN GLOVER

With nine players returning from last season, including four starters, the Lindbergh High School girls’ basketball team looks to be one of the top contenders for a conference championship.

The Flyers last season posted an overall record of 18-10 with a 6-2 mark in Suburban West Conference play for a third-place finish.

“Things are going really well,” head coach Bill Thoele told the Call. “We’ve got 14 girls on this year’s team and nine of those girls are returning players. Four of those nine girls returning are starters from last year’s team.

“I think that the thing that I’m impressed the most with this year is that I think we’re going to be a more well-rounded team. I’m really happy with the team and they’ve been working real hard getting ready for the season,” he added.

Senior Brittany Casey returns as Lindbergh’s leading scoring threat after averaging 11.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season. The All-Conference selection at forward also recorded 45 assists, 54 steals and 16 blocked shots during the 2007-2008 season.

“We expect her to improve on all of her stats,” Thoele said. “She knows what her goals are and we’ve been working a lot with her here before the start of the season.”

Another senior who will be one of the keys to the Flyers’ success this season is Emily Bozdeck, who averaged 3.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season.

The 5-foot-10-inch center also tallied 40 assists, 37 steals and two blocked shots.

“She does a great job defensively in re-bounding,” Thoele said. “We’re going to try and get a little more points out of her this year. Nine to 10 points a game from her is very realistic this year.”

Senior forward/center Christine Simpson also could prove to be an asset this season after averaging 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game last season.

“Christine probably has the best work ethic of anyone on the team,” Thoele said. “She’s only 5 feet, 8 inches, but she gets in the middle and really does a great job up front.”

Senior Emily Metcalf will come off the bench this season as a guard and looks to improve on her 1.6-points-per-game average from last season.

“Emily’s really quick and shoots the ball really well,” Thoele said. “She’s another senior that we’ll have come in off the bench this season.”

Junior Alicia Ubriaco returns as Lindbergh’s top scoring threat from the outside after breaking a school record with 44 three-pointers during the 2007-2008 campaign. Ubriaco averaged 8.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

“Alicia set a school record last season with 44 three-pointers last season,” Thoele said. “We’re hoping that she continues her three-pointers this year, but we’re also wanting her to take the ball to the hole and get to the free-throw line. She’s another player that we’re hoping to see get double-digit figures this season.”

Sophomore Keona Blair may have played in only eight games last season as a freshman, but she wasted little, if any, time making an impact by averaging 10.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

Blair also knocked down 15 three-pointers as well as 13 assists and 11 steals as a freshman on the varsity squad.

“Keona played eight games with us and really makes things happen,” Thoele said. “She’s a great passer, has good vision of the floor, can really shoot the three and can also take it to the hole.”

The Flyers open the regular season against Northwest at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 at home.