Maryville girls basketball was riding high after a huge win against St. Pius Jan. 7 and was hoping to take down East Buchanan for a second time this season. However, East Buchanan had plans to avenge themselves from their 36-34 loss to the Spoofhounds Dec. 30.
After a slow start, the Spoofhounds (11-2) tried to mount a comeback from a double-digit deficit, but time was in favor of East Buchanan, which lead the entirety of the contest. The ’Hounds failed to complete the sweep with a 41-45 loss Jan. 14 in the Hound Pound.
The first quarter showed little production from the Maryville offense except for junior guard Serena Sundell’s 9 points.
“We didn’t answer the bell like we have in some games,” Maryville coach Quinten Albrecht said. “In the first half, the shots wouldn’t fall for us.”
The Spoofhounds were visibly frustrated as Sundell was the only scorer in the first half. After being down 16-9 at the end of one quarter, the offense continued to struggle in the second quarter.
After a Sundell three-pointer to start the quarter, East Buchanan rattled off a 10-0 run of its own to extend the lead. In an effort to cut into the deficit, Sundell drained two clutch threes inside the 30-second mark of the first half, with one in buzzer-beating fashion. Again, Sundell was the only player to score in the second quarter and accounted for every one of the 18 points that Maryville scored in the first 16 minutes of action.
Despite the stunning theatrics, East Buchanan gripped a 26-18 advantage at the break.
The second half, unlike much of the first, saw an uptick on the offensive end for the Spoofhounds. The problem for Maryville, offensively, was in part due to the way that the Bulldogs are coached to play defense."
“They’re a well-coached team and played our screens very well and we didn’t have too many answers,” Sundell said.
After 20 straight points to start the game from Sundell, junior forward Emily Cassavaugh sank both attempts in a trip to the free-throw line for her first points of the game. Nearly four minutes passed before the next points were scored by freshman forward Rylee Vierthaler.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs led the Spoofhounds 35-24. The last quarter of play started to show the making of a nail-biter, one that paralleled the first matchup between the two in the Bishop LeBlond Invitational.
“This team right here has only been behind by double figures once and that was against Staley,” Albrecht said. “We didn’t respond to it real well off the bat, but at the end, we made it a one-possession game.”
The ’Hounds darted off to a 7-0 run to start the final quarter of play. With two minutes left to play, Maryville’s all-time leading scorer, Sundell, broke the 30 point mark and got the Spoofhounds within 2 points of the Bulldogs.
With 10 seconds left on the clock, Sundell got the ball and had the opportunity to shoot a game-tying three to send the game to overtime. Instead, she decided to drive in for a contested layup. The ball, which the crowd wished went in, failed to make contact with anything other than the floor after the shot resulted in an airball.
The Spoofhounds found themselves on the bright side of a nail-biter against the Bulldogs earlier this season. This time, that light shined on East Buchanan.
“Honestly I give a lot of credit to them,” Albrecht said. “I just think they beat us. If you play the game, you’re going to lose some.”