Record-setting season lands Lindstrom top-player honorsJessica Lindstrom, the 2013 Superior Telegram Girls Basketball Player of the Year, scored 567 points in her junior season to put her career total at 1,470. Lindsey, who scored 1,312 points from 2003-07, remains the second all-time leading scorer in Spartan history.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
For almost six years, Lindsey Lindstrom held the all-time scoring record at Superior High School. This year she moved down to second place, but it came as no surprise.
Her younger sister, Jessica, had her eyes set on the record the moment Lindsey set it.
“She was always very ‘type A’ personality — aggressive,” Lindsey said. “I could tell from when she was 5 or 6 years old she was going to be a really good basketball player.”
Jessica Lindstrom, the 2013 Superior Telegram Girls Basketball Player of the Year, scored 567 points in her junior season to put her career total at 1,470. Lindsey, who scored 1,312 points from 2003-07, remains the second all-time leading scorer in Spartan history.
“It feels really good knowing that me and my sister are the ones up there,” Jessica said. “I always wish that she would have been on my team to see how that would have been. That would have been so cool. We always talk about that.”
Jessica and Lindsey talked frequently this season. When Jessica scored her 1,000th career point in December, her older sister called to offer congratulations. Lindsey was also the first to congratulate Jessica when she set the new career scoring mark later in the season.
“I’m so proud,” Lindsey said. “I’m nothing but happy for her.”
Lindsey has literally watched little sister grow up. She remembers the days when Jessica, eager to be a high school basketball star herself, would tag along to practices and run with the team. She idolized her older sister, and took every chance she could to watch her play basketball.
“I always went to every one of her high school games; I went to her AAU games,” Jessica said. “I would always just watch her. She’s my sister and I look up to her. And she’s good. … I just took tips from her without her even saying anything. You can just watch and see what she does.”
At home, Jessica continued to follow after her older sister. Playing dress-up was a common pastime. Lindsey picked outfits for Jessica, did her hair and added makeup as a final touch.
“I was a good sister,” Jessica said. “I was her little doll.”
“Oh my gosh, yes!” Lindsey said. “She was like my kid. I would babysit a lot.
“She would pretty much do whatever I said because I’m six years older than her.”
During her first two years playing for the Spartans, Jessica lived in her sister’s shadow. She was known as “Lindsey’s sister” and was sometimes even mistaken for Lindsey herself.
“When I was a freshman and sophomore, I think I was called Lindsey more than Jessica,” she said. “It was kind of ridiculous. But now I never do … except my mom does sometimes.
“I like being known for me, but I wasn’t mad when people called me Lindsey. She was really good.”
The trend has now come full circle for Lindsey. At this year’s WIAA state tournament, she found herself to introduce herself as “Jessica’s sister.”
“It was cool to see her on the big stage,” Lindsey said. “It was always a dream of mine.”
Jessica averaged a double-double for Superior this year with 21 points and 16.5 rebounds per game. She was named to the Lake Superior Conference All-Conference first team, the Associated Press All-State first team and the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-State first team.
“Jessica Lindstrom was key, not only leading the Spartans in scoring and rebounding but through her defensive intensity,” said Phil Roe, head coach of the Spartans. “Jessica knew last season that she had to improve on the defensive end of the court, and I challenged her to become a shutdown defender. She responded to the challenge in a big way.”
Lindstrom finished the season with 76 blocks (2.9 per game) and 93 steals (3.6 per game) for the Spartans. She also added 59 assists and shut down opponents in the paint.
“Jessica not only rebounded on the defensive end of the court but at the end of the season she learned how to play through foul trouble, be smart yet tenaciously at the same time,” Roe said. “Jessica played strong in the post and on the wing all year. Everyone knows Jessica’s jumping ability and rebounding anticipation is off the charts but where she really improved this season was on the defensive end of the court where she became a leader.”
Lindsey was able to watch Jessica play in both the sectional finals and at the state semifinals.
She sees similarities in the way they run and in the facial expressions, but Lindsey said there are notable differences in the sisters’ playing styles. Jessica is more aggressive and determined, she said. Her younger sister has a “killer instinct.”
The area where Lindstrom’s determination shows most is on the offensive boards.
In the Division 1 state semifinals, Lindstrom faced off against Milwaukee’s 6-foot-5 center but still came away with an advantage in rebounds.
Jessica had 22 rebounds in the game, three shy of the Division 1 single-game rebounding record set in 1978.
“I didn’t know that until after,” Jessica said. “That would have been cool to pass, for sure. That will be one of my goals too next year.”
The all-time record at the state tournament was set in 2004 by a Division 4 athlete — South Shore’s Jolene Anderson. Her 28 rebounds in the semifinal round remain the most ever in WIAA girls basketball history.
Jessica says she is still undecided about where she will go to college, but she would like to make a decision before the start of her senior year of basketball.
“I know I have to think about it soon, but I’m just living it right now I guess,” Jessica said. “I need to go visit some (schools), see what they have to offer and then go from there.”
Lindstrom is poised to become the first Spartan girl ever to reach 2,000 career points — she needs 530 points in her senior year to reach that mark — but she only has one goal for next season.
“Getting to the championship game of the state tournament,” Lindstrom said. “I know we got (to the state semifinals) and that’s really big — it’s only four teams — but getting to the state championship is different. You get either a silver ball or a gold ball.”
Lindstrom of course has her eyes set on gold.
“She always rises to the occasion,” Lindsey said. “She has the power to take over the game in a very humble way. It’s never anything flashy.
“I’m so proud of her.”
Superior girls basketball
All-time leading scorers
Jessica Lindstrom 1,470 2010-present
Lindsey Lindstrom 1,312 2003-07
Hailey Kontny. 1,156 2010-present
Sarah Mattson. 1,093 1993-96
Bethany Koehler 998 1994-98