Lady Panthers beat Lindbergh, extend win streak to seven: Flyers now lost three straight
December 22, 2004 - By STEPHEN GLOVER
For the Call
When the Lindbergh and Mehlville High girls' basketball teams took to the floor last Friday, more than just bragging rights and conference standings were at stake.
Mehlville (7-0, 2-0 Suburban West) came into the game with a six-game win streak, while Lindbergh (5-3, 0-1 Suburban West) hoped to shed a two-game losing streak from losses to highly ranked Hazelwood West and Cor Jesu.
The Flyers found themselves down seven as Mehlville came out firing on all cylinders en route to a 13-6 lead after the first quarter. The Panthers kept pouring on the points against Lindbergh as they held a 29-18 lead at halftime.
"I don't know what it is about this team, but these kids just don't panic," Mehlville head coach Ed Feibig said. "When we need points, we just seem to get them. This team is playing well above their age."
Lindbergh fought back in the third quarter to trim Mehl-ville's lead to 46-38. But the Panthers were too much and Mehlville walked away with a 55-46 victory.
"I think we're a little disappointed in the loss to Mehl-ville because it was a conference game," Lindbergh High head coach Bill Thoele told the Call. "The girls are still confident in themselves and I think we're still going to have a good season.
Lindbergh's Paula Smith led all scorers with 19 points, tying her season-high performance against Cor Jesu last week. The senior forward is averaging 11.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
"In the last two games, Paula's really turned into the Paula that we've know," Thoele explained. "Paula has that desire and inner effort to do the best that she can out there."
The win not only improved the Panthers' flawless record, but it vaulted Mehlville to the top of the Suburban West Conference standings. Feibig believes that one of the keys to the win over Lindbergh was the defensive play of senior forward Alana Wuertz, who kept the Flyers' Amy Hake from scoring in the first half. Wuertz finished the evening with 13 points and two rebounds.
"The key to our win was Alana Wuertz' playing man-to-man on Amy Hake," Feibig explained. "She was shooting the ball great and was a big asset to us in that game."
Hake was one of the biggest contributors to Lindbergh's 20-point surge in the third quarter, racking up 10 points in the second half. The senior guard is averaging 17.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
"Amy was out there freelancing and moving to where there was an open spot to take a shot in the second half," Thoele said. "She just kept playing hard and tried to make things work for herself."
Mehlville's Michelle Senf led the Panthers with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Lindbergh. The junior forward also had two steals and one assist in a game where she was playing a bit under the weather.
"Michelle was actually playing sick in that game," Feibig said. "We played her for a couple of minutes and then I'd have to take her out to rest. She's the kind of player that really comes to play every day."
Sophomore guard Kayla Gordon was another Mehlville Panther who scored in double figures with 10 points and six rebounds. Gordon has been a solid performer this season with 9.6 points and 5.1 rebounds a game.
"Kayla played a pretty strong defensive game," Feibig said. "Offensively speaking, she had an average game. But she's the type of player that if you don't guard her, she's going to drain them."
The Panthers break for the next few days with their first practice not being scheduled until after Christmas. Their next game is at 7 p.m. Jan. 6 at Marquette.
"We're not touching the ball until after Christmas," Feibig said. "We've been working hard for the past two months and it's time for some time off. When we get back, we're going to work on a new man-to-man offense and a new zone defense so that teams will have to re-scout us again."
Lindbergh faces Seckman at 7:45 p.m. Monday in the first round of the Seckman Holiday Invitational.
"I would expect Seckman to be fired up," Thoele said. "We just need to get out there and put a lot of pressure on them and I think that we'll do OK."