For Maryville girls basketball, inclement weather has proven to be a formidable foe as the team nears the homestretch of its season.
With the cancelation of both the Jan. 21 and Jan. 23 matchups against Penney and St. Joseph-LeBlond, respectively, there have now been four games that needed to be rescheduled.
“We’re disappointed to have a disruption in our schedule because when you’re on a roll, you want to keep on rolling,” coach Quintin Albrecht said.
The lack of games, Albrecht said, is frustrating because the team was starting to get back on track. But, he added, the importance of each practice heightens in situations like the ones his team is presented with.
“We deal with this every winter, and we have to take it in stride,” Albrecht said. “When you miss games and can’t practice, you have to use the practice time you have wisely.”
With winters that Maryville endures annually, it’s hard to use it as a crutch for lackadaisical performance. The Maryville coach acknowledges that every team the Spoofhounds will face are struggling with the same inclement weather.
With a week off, it’s possible that the ’Hounds show some rust in their next bout. However, Albrecht is optimistic about his players getting past this icy speed bump.
“On the positive side, when you have a really young team, that time off maybe helps us get fresh legs and fresh mental approach,” Albrecht said. “We just gotta come out and play the best that we can play.”
With 10 of the 18 players being freshmen, not many of the girls are used to playing such a long season compared to middle school basketball. Albrecht thinks that should be no problem in continuing the season “business as usual.”
To hop back on schedule, Maryville (13-2) showed no rust in ending its 11-day game freeze Jan. 27 with a 54-43 win over district opponent, Lawson (11-6). The Spoofhounds have been working on both sides of the ball, but Albrecht emphasized the offensive changes that will help them win more games in the future.
“From here on out, you’ll see a more aggressive team offensively,” Albrecht said. “You’ll see us attacking the basket a little bit more, not relying on the perimeter shot quite as much.”
Albrecht is comfortable with how the ’Hounds are looking in practice and how well they’re learning new concepts. He wants the girls to be better at bringing down rebounds and pushing it down the court for points in transition to help take some pressure off of the offense.
The focus is now on the next district opponent, Cameron (10-3), Jan. 30. The ’Hounds have snuffed the Dragons in their last six meetings, but Albrecht won’t look past a team that will be good preparation for the end of season tournament.
“We feel like Cameron is a really good measuring stick for us as we start to prepare for our district tournament,” Albrecht said. “District tournament games are the most important because if you lose, you go home.”
The optimism shining from Albrecht is guiding the Spoofhounds through a wintry blur of a season, one that’s been rather successful to this point in the year. With two losses, Maryville is using each opportunity to improve and stay on the winning path.
“There’s always things that you can work on and we try to identify and work on those things,” Albrecht said. “We feel that we’re really heading in the right direction.”