Tigers prevail over Flyers 51-35

By STEPHEN GLOVER

While holding on to a 32-26 lead at halftime, the Oakville High boys’ basketball team went on an 11-2 run in the third quarter last week to defeat the Lindbergh Flyers 51-35.

The Jan. 7 win for Oakville (5-7, 2-1 Suburban West) marked the first time the Tigers were able to post back-to-back wins this season. Oakville is riding a three-game winning streak with a 70-56 win over Francis Howell Central Friday night.

“We knew that we had a really tough stretch to start out the new year and I think that the kids are starting to really jell as a team,” Oakville head coach Nick Traxler said. “I think that everyone now is starting to understand their roles on the team.”

Lindbergh’s loss was its sixth consecutive, but good fortune came for the Flyers (3-10, 2-2 Suburban West) later in the week with a 48-36 win over Seckman and a 53-43 win over Mehlville Friday night.

“We had been struggling through most of December,” Lindbergh head coach Jason Wolfard said. “I think that this past week we’ve gotten on a roll and are looking to keep things going.”

Lindbergh’s Bill Uthoff led all scorers in the Oakville game with 15 points and seven rebounds. The senior forward is averaging 11.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

“Bill’s been pretty consistent for us,” Wolfard said. “We look to him quite a bit to keep the scoring up for us this year.”

Javier Duren led the Tigers with 14 points and seven assists. The freshman guard also recorded four steals and three rebounds. Over the past three games, Duren’s averaging 12.3 points a game, which is well above his 7.3 points-per-game average this season.

“He’s a freshman, and I think that he’s becoming more comfortable as our point guard,” Traxler said. “I think that he craves playing games on the big stage and has been waiting to play this role for a long time.”

Also scoring in double figures for Oakville was senior forward John Alexander, who had 10 points and nine re-bounds. Alexander also recorded four assists, one steal and one blocked shot against Lindbergh.

“John’s so consistent and rock steady,” Traxler said. “He’s our one guy that we’ll turn to when we need a basket or a defensive stop.”

The Flyers return to action at 5:30 p.m. today — Jan. 17 — when they play host to Francis Howell at 5:30 p.m. in the first round of the inaugural Lindbergh Flyers Invitational.

Francis Howell (9-5, 0-1 Gateway Athletic) is coming off a 52-40 loss to Fort Zumwalt South.

“I haven’t seen them play, but I know they’re pretty good,” Wolfard said. “They’ve got some pretty good basketball players it seems, so our focus has got to be to keep progressing and get ready for the district playoffs.”

Oakville is set to travel to Fox at 7 p.m. Friday for a Suburban West Conference meeting with the Warriors (8-7, 1-3 Suburban West), who fell 87-57 to Parkway South Friday.

“Fox is going to be a tough game for us,” Traxler said. “They have a new coach, which means a new system and that seems to be working well for them. We’re going to need to play tough defense and still score baskets in order to win.”