Maryville girls basketball is looking to continue its run for the Class 3 District 16 finals after a 62-24 victory over Central Academy was acquired in the quarterfinals Feb. 19.
Maryville (15-8) traveled to St. Pius X High School during school hours Tuesday, as weather caused the team’s start time to be pushed up to 1:30 p.m. Central Academy of Excellence was an unknown team to the Spoofhounds, as they have never met before in the regular season.
Coaches and players were relying on film to be able to scout the Lady Eagles of Central Academy (5-9) rather than physically play with them. Senior Emma Baldwin explained you can’t rely on film itself to get a good feel for how a team plays.
“A team doesn’t look as fast or slow on film as they do in person,” Baldwin said. “You just have to look at their plays and what you think they’ll do next.”
From watching film, coach Quentin Albrecht was able to prepare the girls through drills in order to help them get ready for the game. He was able to see what Central Academy's strengths were as a team and was able to base Maryville’s practice off that.
“We know one of their strengths is their tremendous amount of size, so we have to deal with that,” Albrecht said. “They struggle a little bit in the defense transition, so we have been working on our offensive transition game and getting good looks at the basket.”
Albrecht said a key factor in winning district games is the amount of focus a team brings to every game. He said his team needs to focus on playing Central Academy and its next opponent before focusing on the district final game.
The prospect of a district tournament brings with it a one-and-done format. Each game could be the Spoofhounds’ last. Albrecht spoke with confidence about reaching the goal that the ‘Hounds have set for this season.
“If we are going to reach our goal of making it to the district finals and hoping to win that game and going beyond, that goal goes through Central Academy,” Albrecht said.
Maryville is a young team and will face some challenges up ahead in districts after defeating Central Academy. Although the Spoofhounds are young, their talent comes from being able to average 50 points per game against their opponent.
Albrecht said the team is excited and eager to play games in the district tournament as a youthful, but talented team.
“We just have to take the experiences we have had together,” Albrecht said. “The positive things that have happened and some of the negative things that have happened this year and apply them to the game.”
Maryville has not been able to reach a state playoff berth since 2009. Albrecht and sophomore guard Serena Sundell are both determined to reach the district final. Sundell commented on how great it would be for the community and for their team.
“We haven’t been there in quite some time,” Sundell said. “It would just show how much work we have been putting into practice and just a big step forward.”
Maryville will go on to play Lawson (18-8) at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at St. Pius X High School.