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ST. PETERS • Lutheran St. Charles juniors Jada Lindesmith and Jenna Grzeskowiak have come a long way together.

From the time they joined the team as freshmen to the start of their third season with the Cougars, the two have solidified their role as team leaders.

The pair poured in a combined 28 points as the Cougars dismantled Visitation 63-32 in the opening round of the Lutheran St. Charles Tournament on Monday.

Lutheran St. Charles advanced to play MICDS in a semifinal at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The Rams beat St. Charles West 43-26. The winner will move on to the championship at 8:15 p.m. on Friday.

“Jenna and I have been on the team since we were both freshmen,” Lindesmith said. “If I can't score, I know I can get it to her and she'll score. We just go back and forth. I know if I get stopped, I have other teammates that can carry on the scoring.”

The duo did most of the heavy lifting Monday as Grzeskowiak scored 15 points and Lindesmith added 13.

Each had eight points by the break as the Cougars took a comfortable 27-12 halftime lead.

Clinging to a nine-point lead at the end of the third quarter, the Cougars erupted for 27 points to run away from the Vivettes.

“I think we knew what we were doing and we just picked up our intensity,” Lindesmith said. “We just kept rolling.”

So far, Lindesmith and Grzeskowiak lead the team in scoring with 13.5 and 13 points per game.

“Jada and I do have that (chemistry) from playing together for so many years,” Grzeskowiak said. “Even with the younger girls, there is a chemistry developing really quickly, too. We have a history between the two of us and we feed off that, we know what works and what doesn't."

The Cougars are off to a 2-0 start after finishing 17-10 last season. Lindesmith said that the team has developed a hardened edge that has served it well so far.

“We were so young last year and now we're more enthusiastic with things,” Lindesmith said. “I think we've figured things out. We just work well together.”

That cohesiveness has spread to the rest of the team. 

“It's nice to have a good core group of juniors and seniors and there's a lot of value in that from an experience level,” Lutheran St. Charles coach Erin Luttschwager said. “There's an understanding of competitiveness and what it takes to win at this level. You can't teach that and they've gone through the trials to learn those things and that's big for us to be able to lead us.”

Junior guard Julia Bader led Visitation (2-2) with 13 points in the loss.

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