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Lutheran St. Charles girls win district championship, eye sectionals

The Lutheran St. Charles girls basketball team beat Hermann on Feb. 28 to win the Class 3 District 8 Championship on Feb. 28. [Photo by Lutheran St. Charles Coach Erin Luttschwager]

After 26 games and the district playoffs, the Lutheran St. Charles girls basketball team is still very much alive in the 2020 postseason.

Thanks to clutch performances from Ava Civey, Jada Lindesmith, and Colleen Pruesser, the Cougars scored a 52-46 win over Hermann at the Class 3 District 8 Championship on Feb. 28. The Cougars are now preparing for a Class 3 sectional match-up on Wednesday, March 4 against Lutheran North.

“We had an overtime game with them last year,” Lutheran St. Charles coach Erin Luttschwager said. “It was the same game with two very similar teams returning, so we knew it was going to be a battle from the get-go. Our kids just kind of hung in there and just really had a great finish to the game.”

Lindesmith and Preusser came up with strong offensive efforts as Lindesmith pumped in a game-high 20 points. Pruesser added another 10.

“We’re pretty senior-heavy on our team, which givers us a lot of experience,” Luttschwager said. “Colleen and Jada are two of those kids. I thought they did a great job of just controlling the tempo as they are our two primary ballhandlers.”

Civey, a reserve junior guard, came off the bench late and gave the club a major lift down the stretch, scoring eight points.

“It was tremendous for us,” Luttschwager said of Civey’s impact. “Ava plays at one speed and that’s all out all the time. You always know when she goes in, she is gonna give you everything she’s got.”

Lutheran [22-4] dispatched O’Fallon Christian 63-11 in the first round on Feb. 22 and Bowling Green 64-21 in the district semifinal round on Feb. 25 to advance to the district title tilt with Hermann.

Next up for the Cougars is a chance at a quarterfinal berth on Saturday, March 7.

However, in order to punch that ticket, Lutheran St. Charles will have to find a way to get past Lutheran North’s squad, which is led by Kayla Sullivan and Laila Blakeney.

“It’s going to take a lot of composure and discipline on our end,” Luttschwager said.

Playing a grueling regular-season schedule that included opponents such as MICDS, Whitfield, and Francis Howell Central has steeled the Cougars for the postseason run.

“Being able to play Whitfield in January, that really strengthened our schedule,” Luttschwager said. “It … always helps in the long run when you can look back at some of those games remember the battle that you had and the things that were important, and also the things you need to get better at.”

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