LEMAY — When it comes to playing Oakville, Lindbergh’s Ella Wolfard knows the history.
Entering the title contest of the Southside Classic pm Friday at Hancock, the Flyers held just one win in the last 10 games against Oakville.
Wolfard and her teammates can now lay claim to a second win in the series since Jan. 2015 after the Flyers gutted out the 28-23 victory in the Tiger Dome.
“We know we’ve got to bring our best the whole game because we know that every team on our schedule is competitive,” Wolfard said. “This was a big team thing. We were ready for them, we wanted so badly to beat them. We wanted this really bad after last year and we got it.”
The title does mark the second time in three seasons as Lindbergh’s other win in that stretch came at Hancock in Nov. of 2018 by a point to capture the Southside Classic title that season. This is the third straight year the teams met for the title, as Oakville won 50-29 to win the tournament title last season.
Friday, the duo of senior guard Ally Forbes and Wolfard — who were both named to the all-tournament team provided the opening and closing salvos to help Lindbergh (3-0) earn victory.
Forbes had six by the end of the first quarter as the Flyers built the 14-4 lead.
“It definitely helps get the momentum going forward,” Forbes said. “I do get to look back and know I did good things in the past, so I know I’m capable of doing them again when the team needs me. It felt great to get it started again. We’ve all been working really hard these last few weeks, so it feels good to get a nice reward like all-tournament team. I feel like we all earned it, though.”
After the first quarter, the offensive output fell off drastically.
A 16-7 Flyers’ halftime lead gave way to a 19-14 advantage at the end of the third quarter.
Lindbergh coach Michelle Pittroff said that the team did enough on both defense and in rebounding to secure the victory.
“It definitely wasn’t pretty but these girls work hard and they kept battling the whole way,” Pittroff said. “Buckets didn’t always fall but they did the right things on the defensive side. I think they won the battle on the boards, which definitely helped us.”
While the defense locked Oakville (2-1) down, Wolfard and freshman guard Nyla Jackson came up big on offense in the final quarter.
Jackson drained a 3-pointer early in the final quarter to take the lid off the metaphorical basket and Wolfard added a pair of baskets of her own to give her nine points to lead the team in scoring.
“I really feel like positivity means a lot for us, once we get going, we don’t stop,” said Wolfard of the string of baskets in the final eight minutes that led to victory. “We were able to keep ourselves positive.”
After Wolfard’s effort, Forbes and Jackson each contributed six points.
Freshman center Sammi Simokaitis led Oakville with seven points while freshman guard Addie Czuppon added six points.
Wolfard said that, though the win was nice, the Flyers will have to continue to work hard to grow because, after all, another game with Oakville awaits as a measuring stick.
The teams will close out the regular season at Lindbergh Feb. 25.
“We know any time we play them it’s going to be a tough game,” Wolfard said. “That’s just what we’ll expect from the next one. It’s what we expect every time against them.”