As the Maryville boys basketball team took to the court to battle Frontier STEM Charter Tigers at St. Pius X High School Feb. 18, the only thing on its mind was to continue its successful 2018-19 season.
The Spoofhounds came out on top with a final score of 68-29 over the Tigers, with help from a few underclassmen and several seniors like guard Eli Dowis, who racked up 16 points in the first half.
Still, the team saw areas that needed improvement before their next matchup against the Lathrop Mules Feb. 21.
“We need to be aggressive at all times in the game,” junior guard Tate Oglesby said. “Even if it’s not a very good opponent, it will help us become better for our upcoming run that we want to have. We need to be all around better in every aspect.”
For the Spoofhounds, sitting with a 21-2 record on the season, Frontier STEM (4-8) was no match. Maryville came into the game with a strong and positive mindset. Throughout the season, the Spoofhounds have implemented an idea of calm, cool and collected. This was easily seen as they had no doubts about the game’s outcome and future postseason play.
“I wouldn't necessarily say we’re nervous,” senior Creid Stoecklein said. “We’ve been here before and all of the people playing in our games have played in district championships multiple times. We know what we’re doing, and we know that we can win.”
While the Spoofhounds only allowed 13 points to the Tigers in the second half, their whole focus was on future games and how they will continue their postseason run. As the team gears up to play deeper into the postseason, a win like the one against Frontier STEM gives the team just the right amount of energy to prepare the path ahead.
“I thought we set the tone really well,” Oglesby said. “We just want to build off of that, and hopefully, that sets the tone for the rest of our districts. Hopefully, we continue to do what we do and get things done.”
As the No. 1 seeded Spoofhounds are set to possibly play against some challenging teams like the No. 2 ranked Central Academy Eagles (17-6) and the No. 3 ranked St. Pius X Warriors (16-7), these early games are just stepping stones for the team to get to their ultimate goal of being state champions.
“We go into every game thinking that we’re going to win, and that’s not going to change no matter who we’re playing against,” Creid Stoecklein. “We could’ve stepped it up defensively, giving up 30 points to that team was not our best effort. That’s what we’re going to be working on over these next few games.”