The 2018-19 Maryville girls basketball team will have some familiar faces on the court, with the entire varsity squad returning from last year, featuring experienced seniors and a crop of young talent behind them.
With the amount of experience and talent returning, ‘Hounds head coach Quentin Albrecht is optimistic about his team's chances this season.
“We’re really excited about the year,” Albrecht said. “We have a good crop of returning players coming back from last year that’s really led by a couple of really good senior players for us.”
Those seniors are Emma Baldwin and Kamryn Gastler, who have been a part of Albrecht’s program at Maryville for the past four years. Their leadership is important to the Spoofhounds’ success, and they are a vital part of the team according to Albrecht.
“They provide not only experience, but they provide really good leadership,” Albrecht said of Baldwin and Gastler.
Baldwin has embraced the leadership role that comes with being a senior, stressing that the mindset and energy of the team can make all the difference in the team’s success.
“You know, every day just come in with a positive attitude, bring the energy and maybe that will rub off on everyone else,” Baldwin said. “We’re here to have a good season and finish strong like we want to. Being a senior you have a lot of responsibility, and I think that’s just a big thing, filling in those shoes from last year.”
Below the senior leadership, the ‘Hounds are loaded with talent in the form of their sophomore class, led by standout Serena Sundell, who broke both the single-season school scoring record (433) and single-game scoring record (33) for the Spoofhounds last year.
“We really have kind of an exceptional sophomore class,” Albrecht said. “There are several players in there that are going to contribute, led obviously I think by Serena Sundell, who is a 6-foot-1-inch guard/forward/center because she is very versatile and can do a lot of different things.”
Sundell is not the only sophomore that Albrecht expects to thrive this year. Sundell is complemented by fellow classmate Emily Cassavaugh, who saw some varsity minutes last year, but is expected to fill a much bigger role this year for Maryville.
“Another girl we expect a lot from is Emily (Cassavaugh) who started a couple of games for us last year but saw a lot of minutes on the varsity,” Albrecht said. “She’s a 5-foot-11-inch forward, but she also plays a little bit of guard.”
The goal for the Spoofhounds this season is to finish in the upper part of the Midland Empire Conference and earn what they call “supremacy points.”
“This year our expectations are to win more games than we lose,” Albrecht said. “Our expectations from these girls is to finish in the upper half of the conference, and we want to score a point towards the supremacy points in the MEC. If you finish first place you get four points, second, third and that type of thing.”
The Spoofhounds will see their first action of the season at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 17 at North Andrew High School for their Jamboree and will open the 2018 season at home against Jefferson High School, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m.