Playing a game of H-O-R-S-E spells being humbledRICK LUBBERS: Jessica Lindstrom averaged 21 points last season for the Superior girls basketball team while fighting through an array of defenses designed to slow her down. Can you imagine how many points the senior forward would score without hands in her face or defenders stuck to her like glue?
By: Rick Lubbers, Duluth News Tribune
Jessica Lindstrom averaged 21 points last season for the Superior girls basketball team while fighting through an array of defenses designed to slow her down.
Can you imagine how many points the senior forward would score without hands in her face or defenders stuck to her like glue? I can, and that number is higher than most people can count.
I recently “challenged” Lindstrom to a game of H-O-R-S-E that barely lasted six minutes and didn’t include her picking up a single letter.
And I suspect she took it easy on me. After all, she didn’t even attempt to replicate the three-quarter court shot that landed her on an ESPN highlight reel in December 2012.
Lindstrom did, however, drill an NBA-worthy 3-pointer, a free throw with her eyes closed and a half-court shot to make me spell H-O-R-S-E faster than I could saddle one.
The letters stacked up against me quickly…
H: Lindstrom hit a shot from free-throw line distance. I missed.
O: She knocked down a 3-pointer from well behind the 3-point line. I wasn’t even close.
R: She didn’t even bother to open her eyes while connecting from the free-throw line. Are you kidding me? I couldn’t make that shot in a million tries.
S: For her next trick, Lindstrom made a one-handed shot from around the free-throw line. I launched another prayer destined for a blooper reel.
E: The dagger — Lindstrom struck from half court. She graciously gave me two shots at it, but the first one wasn’t even close. And I don’t want to talk about the second.
OK, she did miss a shot or two along the way, and I can proudly say that I matched her reverse layup, but none of the trick shots that fell for me two years ago when I faced off against former Lakeview Christian Academy standout Anders Broman worked this time. Nor did they fall for me last year when I lost to both Broman AND Lindstrom.
Left-handed hook shot from the free-throw line? Three strikes.
Granny shot? Two more misses.
Lindstrom tried both of my desperation shots just for kicks and missed both — “It’s not as easy as it looks,” she said with a laugh — but her aim proved true on just about everything else.
That consistency is a major reason why Lindstrom and the Spartans enjoyed a banner 2012-13 campaign. Last season she averaged 21 points and 16. 7 rebounds in leading Superior to a school-record 23 victories and a deep state tournament run.
Then in November, Lindstrom signed a letter of intent to play hoops for Division I University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
The Spartans are 6-1 as they prepare for the 2014 portion of their schedule and the push to peak at playoff time. Their roster is loaded with talent that includes UMD-bound Hailey Kontny and sharpshooter Alyssa Correll.
“We want to win it this time and come back with a gold ball,” Lindstrom said. “That’s everyone’s dream, but I think we can seriously accomplish that this year.”
And with her college choice behind her, Lindstrom is focused solely on helping Superior accomplish that lofty goal.
“It’s a huge weight that’s lifted off my shoulders,” she said. “I’m just playing for our team now, for the Spartans. I am really looking forward to college, too, but right now it’s mainly about this high school and how far we can go together. ”
The Spartans can expect plenty of points, rebounds, blocks and assists from Lindstrom along the way.
And don’t be surprised if she sinks an impossibly long or wickedly difficult shot or two along the way.
Contact News Tribune sports editor Rick Lubbers at firstname.lastname@example.org or (218) 723-5317. Follow him @ricklubbersdnt on Twitter.