Maryville boys basketball headed southeast Feb. 25 to Cameron High School where its first Class 3 District 16 game against Cristo Rey stood in the way of the Spoofhounds and the next round of districts.
The No. 2 seed Spoofhounds (14 -10) wanted to exert their dominance over the No. 7 seed Pumas (7-12) and prove that they’re worthy of the high seeding.
Maryville brought along its uniforms, basketball shoes and the covenanted hot shooting hand to Cameron while Cristo Rey seemed to have left its gameplan on the bus. The Spoofhounds ran away with the game, eventually winning 88-23.
From the tip, Maryville senior guard Tate Oglesby showed off his basketball skills by scoring the first six points of the game. Junior center Marc Gustafson helped lift some of the weight off of Oglesby’s shoulders and scored the next two points, leading to a Puma timeout.
In an effort to slow down Maryville, Cristo Rey coach Fred Turner called a timeout. That timeout would be to no avail. Maryville jumped out to a commanding 15-2 lead and never looked back.
Cristo Rey’s zone defense was, in some ways, a failed experiment against the ’Hounds as Gustafson proved to be the kryptonite. On multiple occasions, a Spoofhound guard crashed the paint, drawing the two middle defenders with him. Those instances left Gustafson with a heaping plate of wide-open layups.
Maryville coach Matt Stoecklein loved the team’s ability to exploit the zone.
“Especially against that zone, the team moved the ball so well from dead spot to the middle,” Stoecklein said. “They scored so easily, were able to paint threes, and they looked really good.”
The high scoring offense allowed Maryville to pull away and start searching for hidden gems on the bench. Senior guards Tylan Perry and Kelby Derr were the diamonds in the rough.
Perry began the game slowly, missing his first couple of shot attempts, but his shots found the bottom of the net in the second half. His completed 3-pointer in the first minute of the second half led way to an eventual 11 points. Derr unleashed his inner shooter and tallied three 3-pointers en route to scoring 12 points.
“I just had great teammates who were able to get open,” Perry said. “I saw the gaps in the zone and just hit them. The zone was giving me great looks.”
Stoecklein was ecstatic to see the two seniors get a chance to shine in district play.
“Perry and Derr did so much tonight,” Stoecklein said. “They hit shots, hit inside stuff and did a lot of the other things too like getting loose balls. I’m so happy for those two seniors to have the night that they did.”
Perry and Derr weren’t the lone players off the bench that contributed to the outpouring of points. Junior guard Justin Stapes hit a 3-pointer, freshman guard Keaton Stone tallied 2 points and sophomore guard Spencer Willnerd had 3 points.
The 31 Spoofhound bench points were more than all the points combined from Cristo Rey. The ability to have an impressive performance from the bench and build trust with players has Stoecklein in a good position.
“It’s a good sign you can get that many bench points and play that well with them,” Stoecklein said. “If they can continue to perform like they did tonight, we’ll look for them in other games.”
Despite the scoring spurt from the bench, the two starters in Oglesby and Gustafson paved the way for a blowout. Gustafson led all scorers with 17 points and asserted his dominance down low with multiple putbacks, rebounds and the ability to get fouled and make the shot. Oglesby finished with 16 points, including two 3-pointers.
The win for Maryville was in part due to the lack of execution from Cristo Rey's offensive gameplan. It was also in part because of the Spoofhounds' stifling defense.
The ’Hounds were doubling off screens, applying pressure beyond the 3-point line, and causing the Pumas to have costly turnovers. The stout defensive performance was praised by Stoecklein.
“They played pretty hard on defense,” Stoecklein said. “There have been games where we haven’t worked as hard as we needed to, and that’s the biggest factor. Tonight great defense led to some good offense.”
A loss tonight would’ve sent the Spoofhounds back to Maryville until next basketball season. Perry discussed what it felt like playing in the district tournament one last time, win or lose.
“It’s very emotional,” Perry said. “Before the game, I thought this could be it, but through the course of the game, I knew we had it. Onto the next.”