SAPPINGTON • Karen and Tim Baudendistel thought they had it all figured out.
The parents of triplets, they devised a plan early on to keep their siblings from fighting with one another.
"Each one gets two days of the week and on those days, the one whose day it is gets what they want ahead of the other two," Karen explained.
It worked perfectly — until Julie, Meghan and Dan turned 16 years old.
Then came the biggest problem of all. Three teenagers, one car. All of a sudden, those years of harmony came crashing to an end.
"It didn't work out so well," Julie said. "We all wanted it for ourselves most of the time."
The triplets, now juniors at Lindbergh High, may struggle with car issues — but they are united on the basketball court.
The first family of Lindbergh hoops is enjoying an impressive campaign as all three have contributed to their teams' success.
Julie, a 5-foot-9 inch forward, leads the Flyers in scoring at 12.8 points per game. Meghan, 5-8, has just broken into the starting lineup. Her game has improved by leaps and bounds according to Lindbergh coach Michelle Pittroff.
Dan, a 5-8 guard, helps run the offense for the boys team.
The three are very supportive of one another off the court. But the shootarounds in the cul-de-sac at home can still turn into heated battles.
Two years ago, Julie smashed Dan on the nose with her elbow, causing a bloody mess. The reason for the aggressive behavior is still unclear.
"I guess I must have made her mad," Dan said.
"Nope," Julie added. "He just got in my way."
Take away the basketball and car battles and the three have a bond only triplets can understand.
Dan looks out for Julie and Meghan much like an older brother. The three hang out together away from school and are commonly seen together roaming the halls of the Lindbergh campus in a pack.
"Us being together, it's all we've ever known," Meghan said. "It's a different situation that most people might not understand. But I've spent most of my life with them."
The time spent banging each other around in pickup games while growing up has made them all better players, according to Karen.
"The (girls) had no choice but to get better because of the competition he provided," Karen said.
Julie, the first born, likely has the most upside of three.
"We've got high expectations for her because she can do a little bit of everything," Pittroff said. "And she's still getting better."
Julie, who also topped the Flyers in scoring last season at 15.7, is a leader on the court as well. Karen joked Julie was born first, "because she told the others she was in charge and they had to wait."
Julie pumped in a season-high 29 points Jan. 9 in a 66-62 win over Summit.
Meghan is a late bloomer but has plenty of upside. Dan continues to improve, although he said he is not likely to play basketball in college.
The three like to watch and critique each other's performances, although they usually do it in a jovial way.
"If he makes a mistake or does something wrong, he'll hear about it from us," Julie said. "But most of the time, we just enjoy making fun of each others mistakes."
Added Meghan, "We don't take what each other says too seriously."
Karen said Meghan and Dan are more likely to take a leading role in a social setting while Julie is more of an on-court leader.
"They all have separate personalities," Karen said. "And it's amazing how well they still get along."
Karen and Kim recently solved the car situation by adding a second automobile to the mix. But every once in a while the battles over the keys still rage.
"There's still some controversy," Dan said. "But we're learning to make it work."