After 56-54 win over Mehlville boys, Lindbergh loses district championship
Would the boys' basketball team at Lindbergh High School win the district championship this season? That was possibly the biggest question of the year.
Last season, Lindbergh battled Vianney to a 75-72 setback in the district championships game at Oakville Senior High School. But would the second time around be the charm for the Flyers?
Lindbergh (13-12, 3-4 Suburban West Conference) opened up the district tournament with a stout 28-21 lead at halftime over Oakville.
"That was the second time we played Oakville and we knew what we needed to do in order to win," Lindbergh head coach Ken Libby told the Call. "By halftime, they started hitting shots and then it became a ball game."
Oh what a ball game it was.
Oakville tied the game up 39-39 after three quarters of play, but the Flyers found themselves as the last ones standing in a 56-54 victory over the Tigers last Wednesday.
"It was a good victory for us for sure," Libby said. "You've got to give them (Oakville) credit because they really got it rolling in the second half."
Lindbergh's Richard Williams led the Flyers in scoring with 24 points, four assists and one steal in a game that Libby said was not one of the junior guard's best performances.
"To be honest, it really wasn't one of his better games," Libby said. "His frustration was not only on himself, but the rest of his team."
Freshman forward Tyler Kiel also scored in double figures with 11 points and five rebounds in the Flyers' win over Oakville.
"Tyler had a very good tournament," Libby said. "He's been making great strides in learning the high school game."
The Flyers once again faced Vianney in the championship game of the district tournament last Friday. Libby and his boys knew they would have their hands full.
"They (Vianney) are a very good team," Libby said. "A good majority of their players came to Vianney after playing together since the seventh grade."
Lindbergh trailed 19-6 after one quarter of play, and went into the locker room with a 33-21 deficit at the half. But one of the deciding factors of the game was the play by the Golden Griffins' Brandon Beal, who scored 24 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and one steal in their 51-65 win over Lindbergh.
"Beal was the physical specimen that we had no answer for," Libby said. "We got down early and the physicalness that we had to encounter really affected our timing and fluidness."
Williams again led the Flyers in scoring with 15 points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal, while Kiel racked up 12 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and an assist.
Senior guard Mike Mohrman mounted an 11-point, one-steal effort in the Flyers' loss to Vianney.
Libby believes that one of the reasons why Mohrman wasn't able to get off more shots was due to the physical nature of the game.
"Shooting-wise, Mike has been able to create shots in our offense," Libby said.
"But he wasn't able to get off many shots against Vianney. It's difficult to use his screens with the physicalness of that kind of game."
Although their season has ended, the Flyers will have an abundance of talent returning next year, which only can mean good things for Lindbergh basketball fans.
"Obviously Richard Williams is going to be one of the best players in the area," Libby said. "As for Tyler, one of the biggest things for him will be working on his shot so that he's a more complete inside/outside player."