Oakville’s seniors were money on senior night at home against Lindbergh in the final Suburban West Conference regular season game for both teams.
Senior Austin Cibulka got things going with two 3-pointers, and senior Alec McChesney hit from the foul line to ice it. In the end, Oakville out-paced Lindbergh 48-42.
Lindbergh ends the regular season at 4-4, (12-13 in Suburban West Conference). Oakville finishes at 5-3, (8-17 in conference).
“Our seniors came out and set the tone early,” Oakville coach Nick Traxler said. “They had a great first five minutes of the game, and everybody was pumped up from there.”
The score was 16-14 after the first quarter. The second period was almost even. The Tigers 6-foot-10 sophomore Austin Gillman hit for six, as did Flyers senior Nick Deloch. Both were team-high scorers. Gillman was also game-high with 15. Deloch finished with 14.
It was 26-20 for the Tigers at the half. Lindbergh outscored Oakville 12-9 in the third, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 35-32 after three.
The pace quickened in the fourth, as Lindbergh’s Mik Ebert dunked to tie it at 35 with a little over five minutes to play. It stayed tied at 37 until 3:37 showed on the clock.
Oakville was up 42-39 with a minute left, when Lindbergh coughed up the ball.
Traxler said it was a testament to their defensive toughness down the stretch.
“They pulled together in those last couple minutes,” he said. “Did the things we needed to do to be successful.”
In the last minute, Oakville made six of eight free throws. Four of those were by McChesney, who was 4-for-4.
“No big deal,” he said. “That’s the way it’s got to be, otherwise I’d probably miss the free throws, so I’ve got to be calm.”
At this point, both teams are looking only at their first-round district games on Monday at Fox. Traxler said his team is on track.
“They just came together as a unit and did the things they needed to do,” Traxler said. “That’s what you want them to do going into districts.”
Lindbergh coach Jason Wolfard had the opposite take.
“We need to walk out and forget about this,” he said. “We can’t carry this baggage with us.”
He said they’ve taken a .500 team and gone far in postseason in the past.
“It’s because we believed,” he said. “If we believe, we go out there and have no regrets at the end.”