Toughness, determination set Ostman apart at BSHS
If you ever had the chance to see Lynsey Ostman play basketball, you’d likely agree that she was the right selection by Bonner Springs High School as the Female Senior Athlete of the Year.
Ostman’s hard-nosed determination was evident in every game from the opening tip to the final buzzer. It was a staple of her playing style throughout her career, and it caught the eye of many in the BSHS community.
Still, Ostman admitted she was caught off-guard by the honor.
“I was surprised that I was selected,” Ostman said. “That award usually goes to a multisport player, but I was very excited to get that honor.”
Despite a tough senior season as far as record goes, Ostman left her mark on the Bonner Springs basketball program during her four-year varsity career.
“I would be on the court and be 100 percent focused, but it seemed like I wasn’t able to compete like I was used to,” said Ostman, who saw her offensive production drop this season. “Girls were just defending me so well and I just couldn’t shake free many times. It was a tough year.”
Despite her struggles on the offensive side of the ball, Ostman always performed up to the task as a defender. She was charged more times than not with shutting down the opposition’s best scorer — a task she relished.
To illustrate how Ostman played on the court and what she meant to the team, you have to go back her junior year.
The Bravettes were playing on the road at Turner and faced an early 4-0 deficit before Ostman sparked the team to a 17-0 run that essentially iced the game early.
During the run, Bonner Springs played stifling defense by closing out on every shooter, rebounding, deflecting passes and blocking shots. The Bravettes were able to turn that defense into offensive scores. The night was highlighted by one series by Ostman in the second quarter. She deflected a pass out of bounds and proceeded to knock the ensuing two inbound passes out of bounds. This fired up her team, and on Turner’s third attempt to get the ball in Ostman actually let the Bears get it in before she swiped the ball away and drove the length of the floor for a layup to make the score 15-4.
“(Lynsey) is the leader by example on this team,” coach Clay Oakes said at the time. “She is always on the floor going after every loose ball — she really plays great defense.”
At other times, Ostman had the ball in her hands when her team had the lead late in games. She was trusted to do the right thing, and she had a knack for knocking down late-game free throws.
Ostman graduated in May and is still a little overwhelmed by the idea that her high school days are over. However, the confident freshman who once took the floor in varsity games to spell seniors will look back fondly of her time spent on the court and in the classroom with her friends.
“My freshman year against Tonganoxie, we used a total team effort and knocked them off. It gave me a taste of what the next three years would bring. That will be the memory I keep,” Ostman said. “Now that I’ve graduated it is kind of strange. The ceremony was like an out-of-body experience — I feel like I should still be going to classes.”
Ostman will work over the summer at Shawnee Fitness in the youth center where she hopes to gain experience working with children. In the fall she plans on pursuing a degree in elementary education at the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth. Ostman turned down a basketball scholarship at USM — which was a last-minute decision.
“It has been four really long seasons that have been really tough mentally,” Ostman said. “I will miss the camaraderie and the fun, but I won’t miss the (grind).”
As for how she thinks she should be remembered at Bonner Springs, Ostman thought briefly and said, “that I always put 200 percent out every time I stepped onto the court. ‘Look who’s on the ground, Lynsey diving on the ground to get the loose ball.’ And, that I never backed down. That is what I want to be remembered for.”