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Flyers bomb Fox in girls' district quarterfinals, but edged by Mehlville 59-57 in semifinals

Throughout the course of a season, a team learns many lessons.

The girls' basketball team at Lindbergh High School learned a few lessons last week at the Class 5 District 8 tournament, which was played at Vianney High School.

One of Lindbergh's first lessons learned was to never discount the talent of the Fox Warriors.

The Flyers (14-12, 3-4 Suburban West Conference) got a cold dose of reality on the Friday before the district tournament as they traveled to Fox and found themselves down 13-4 after the first quarter.

But Bill Thoele, the Flyers' head coach knew that despite the 60-42 win, his athletes learned a valuable lesson in life.

"We learned a little lesson against them that Friday night," Thoele told the Call. "We were down in the first quarter against them and playing them that Friday was a benefit to us. I think it really woke us up."

Lindbergh bombed the Warriors in the first quarter on the district quarterfinal as they jumped out to a 32-16 lead at the half. The game was out of reach when Lindbergh poured on even more heat as the Flyers walked away with a 60-45 win over Fox.

The Flyers' Paula Smith led the green and gold with 14 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal in the win. Along with her effort against the Warriors, Thoele has been impressed with Smith's play during the second half of the season.

"She (Paula) really turned it up in the second half of the season," Thoele said. "We expect a lot out of Paula and get that."

Junior guard Amy Hake racked up 13 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four assists in the win. Hake was joined by sophomore center Meaghan Endicott's 10-point effort, in which she pulled down seven rebounds.

"Meaghan's really gotten better throughout the season," Thoele said. "She works so hard to get better and we expect her to get better next season."

In their district semifinal against Mehlville, the Flyers found themselves in one of their toughest battles of the season.

"It was pretty much a back-and-forth game against two pretty equally matched teams," Thoele said. "It was a matter of who had a hold of the ball last."

Mehlville had the ball last and the Panthers edged the Flyers 59-57.

Hake led all scorers with 26 points, seven steals, one assist and one rebound in the Flyers heartbreaking loss.

Despite the loss, Thoele was glad to see that Hake found her shot again after struggling the past several weeks in draining the ball into the basket.

But Hake sat out most of the second quarter with three fouls, which may have cost the Flyers the game.

"She (Amy) was struggling the last two weeks with her shot," Thoele said. "Had she not sat out with three fouls in the second quarter, who knows what would have happened."

With a slew of players returning next season, Thoele believes he has the right components to make a little noise next season.

"I think we should step it up next season and learn from some of our losses this year," Thoele said. "We just need to work hard and do what we need to do in the offseason."

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