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Girls basketball: Jefferson's Lindeman dishes on assists, scoring record

Jan. 19—DELPHOS — She's a point guard who scores a lot of points. She always has been.

Delphos Jefferson's Lyv Lindeman is averaging 25.6 points a game. Earlier this season she broke the school career scoring record, then added the single-game school record with 40 points against Allen East.

But she says there's a part of playing point guard she enjoys even more than scoring.

"I'd rather have 10 assists than 10 points in a game," Lindeman said. "That's more rewarding.

"Seeing the smile from other people and creating something and being able to dish it out and knowing my teammate is going to make that (shot) is even more rewarding than scoring. And getting a team win is more important than any type of points I could score," she said.

Team wins have been frequent during Lindeman's career. Jefferson is off to a 13-1 start this season after winning 23 games last season, 22 games two years ago and 20 games the season before that. The Wildcats, who currently lead the Northwest Conference, have won the NWC outright twice and shared the 2020-2021 title in the last three seasons.

In at least one way, this season has been more challenging than any of the three that came before it.

The Wildcats, ranked No. 10 in the most recent AP Division III poll, had to play without 6-foot, 3-inch center Lauren French for five weeks until she came back recently from an ankle injury.

Lindeman and French were the only returning starters for Jefferson this season. French averaged 10.7 points and 12 rebounds a game in six games before her injury. Five players other than Lindeman have played in every game — Kyrstin Moore, Claire Brinkman, Maddey Burris, Kyah Kimmet and Carolyn Mueller.

"That's a pretty good streak. I think it all comes down to our girls buying into the program," Jefferson coach Denise Lindeman said. "To be successful it's a lot of hard work, and I think our girls have bought into that hard work, that drive and desire and want to compete,"

Denise Lindeman is in her fifth year as Jefferson's girls basketball coach, and her husband, Bub Lindeman, is an assistant coach. She has coached her younger daughter, Lyv, her entire high school career and also coached her older daughter, Alycia.

Lyv Lindeman was second-team All-Ohio last season, when she averaged 20.3 points a game. She averaged 16.2 points a game as a sophomore and 14.6 points a game as a freshman. She was first-team All-Northwest Conference as a freshman, NWC Player of the Year as a sophomore and shared that award with Crestview's Cali Gregory last season.

Alycia Lindeman was first-team All-NWC two years ago and second-team All-NWC three times.

Lyv Lindeman surpassed Brooke Bowers' career record of 1,400 points. Denise (Blockberger) Lindeman is No. 3 on Jefferson's career scoring list with 1,229 points, and Alycia Lindeman is No. 5 with 1,168 points.

Lyv Lindeman didn't embrace basketball until she was approaching middle school age, though.

"I kind of didn't even like the game of basketball until about the fourth grade. I played soccer but mostly I was just a kid who was content playing on my scooter," she said.

Her older sister's love of the game was a big factor in her growing interest in it.

"I always looked up to her. Once I saw that she'd found that love for basketball, I wanted to fall in love with it," she said.

These days, she can be found in the gym early in the morning, in the evening, before practice, after practice, often with teammates, sometimes on her own.

"I don't have to push Lyv to go to the gym. Lyv will be like, 'Mom, do you want to go to the gym?' or 'Mom, I'm going to the gym.' It's not me pushing her. It's her drive to be the best version of Lyv every single day. I think she instills that into our younger kids. She leads by example," Denise Lindeman said.

Lyv Lindeman spent extra time in the gym before this season to prepare for her senior year.

"This year I took off soccer just to focus on my game because I was missing some aspects. Last year I was mainly just a driver. Since I'm only 5-7, it's kind of hard against those bigger girls, especially thinking about the next level. So I spent a lot of time just working on my pull-up jumper and being able to create when I have someone on me," she said.

"I really focused on my step back and coming off screens and making sure my feet are set. And my range. I really didn't shoot many threes last year. That gives me a little bit more of a threat since I like to use my speed."

She has signed to play basketball at NCAA Division II Tiffin University, which also has offered her the opportunity to run track, a significant factor in her decision. She finished third in the 100-meter hurdles and fourth in the 300-meter hurdles at the Division III state track meet last year.