It’d be an understatement to say tough battles on the road have characterized the games Maryville girls basketball (12-1) has encountered in recent weeks. Additionally, the Spoofhounds managed to navigate an unusually dense number of games in one week.
Maryville coach Quentin Albrecht said he’s proud of the way his team played through the heavy schedule of talented teams.
“I think this is a big confidence builder,” Albrecht said. “We went into this week and played Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — it’s like an NBA schedule.”
Three of the four teams jammed into Maryville’s week were familiar foes. East Buchanan (4-7) and Glenwood (9-2) both added to the Spoofhounds’ loss column a year ago, while St. Pius X (9-1) is a recurring conference roadblock. Despite the level of difficulty, the ’Hounds managed to avenge two losses given to them last season and earn a conference win.
“The big game for us was the St. Pius game — a conference game,” Albrecht said. “That was very important to us. Any time you can come in and beat a St. Pius team down on their floor, that’s a big deal.”
Albrecht said his ’Hounds had to work for a win over Pius after witnessing a scoring drought for a little more than six minutes, one that stretched from the end of the third quarter and persisted into the beginning of the fourth. However, Maryville found its rhythm via a 6-2 run to squeak by with a 42-38 win.
Senior guard Serena Sundell acknowledged that St. Pius X would likely be the biggest conference competition her team will face this season.
“There’s definitely a lot of adversity that comes with playing Pius on their court,” Sundell said. “Pius is always a fourth-quarter game. We knew that we weren’t just going to walk in and take it from them, so we did what we needed to do.”
After winning a defensive brawl against Pius, Sundell didn’t expect what happened in the ’Hound Pound that following Saturday. In contrast to the St. Pius X game, defense was scarce in Maryville’s matchup against Iowan powerhouse, Glenwood.
For the second time this season, Maryville scored more than 90 points in a game with a 94-75 victory over Glenwood Jan. 16.
“They were the No. 1 team, Class 4 in Iowa, so everyone knew that (Glenwood) would be really good,” Sundell said. “We just came in knowing we had nothing to lose. We were going to take shots we have with confidence and take every opportunity they give to us. It was just a super fun game.”
The total amount of points scored in the game was a school record for Maryville, and Albrecht attributed the high-scoring affair to the type of play synonymous with Glenwood’s program.
“Glenwood is known for its upstyle tempo,” Albrecht said. “Generally speaking, I probably wouldn’t be excited about the team giving up 75 points, but it was a lot to do with the pace of the game. It’s the type of game where there’s about double the amount of possessions you’d see in a regular game.”
This season, Glenwood is averaging 72 points per game. Albrecht expected this type of play, and the girls proved they could match the pace and do it even better. He said this game spoke to the team’s versatility that Sundell stated in a phone call earlier in the season.
“When we can get on (a rhythm), we’re going to be hard to beat,” Sundell said. “Even if we’re not on, I think we’re capable of finding different ways to score. We’ll get inside the paint and give other people those opportunities to score.”
The ’Hounds will need to utilize these different options for points as their schedule ceases to ease in difficulty. The team has yet to see conference foes St. Joseph Benton, Chillicothe and Cameron, who aim to dethrone last year’s conference champions.
However, Albrecht is confident his team can continue its winning ways after some hard-fought games.
“I think by beating (St. Pius X) and Glenwood helps us with our confidence,” Albrecht said. “We know that if we play our game, we can beat anybody put in front of us.”