Maryville girls basketball team is aiming for a strong finish to end its regular season and to start district play. Maryville is on a two-game win streak after a 52-33 win over Lathrop on Jan. 29.
After beating the Mules, the Spoofhounds have increased momentum heading into postseason play coming up in the next couple of weeks. This momentum does not come just from winning and the team as a whole, but it comes from the energy that the crowd brings.
Coach Quentin Albrecht can tell the difference the community has made at games over the last couple of years.
“Going back into last year, I think that our fan base is slowly, but surely, increasing a little bit,” Albrecht said. “People realize that we put a pretty good product on the floor right now; our kids work hard.”
The community is considered a part of the family for the basketball team. Coach Albrecht said “family” is a term used because you have people who care about you no matter what. Getting late into the season and with some hard-fought losses throughout the season, this is a term that is used frequently to keep everybody’s head held high.
Albrecht emphasizes the word with his girls, on and off the court.
“I think basketball is more than getting out on the floor and playing basketball,” Albrecht said. “It is a commitment to not just yourself and your coaching staff, but to your teammates, school and community.”
The term family has helped pave the way for a solid basketball team all season and built their success on the home court. The Spoofhounds have been undefeated throughout the entire season at home and are trying to build on that with their last home game Jan. 11 against Cameron. Maryville aims to use that home-court advantage to continue its hot streak.
With tough matchups coming up ahead of the Spoofhounds, it is only helping them prepare for the tough matchups that they will face in districts. Senior Emma Baldwin knows how important these matches are when they come this late in the season.
“These next two games are important to us,” Baldwin said. “Benton, again, we’ve never beat them, so it’s extremely important to be right under them.”
With a tight race for the conference championship, it is important for the Spoofhounds to be ready for the competition. Maryville is sitting high in the conference heading into the final stretch of the regular season at No. 3 before hitting postseason action. The Spoofhounds, (13-6, 2-1 MEC), are looking to be able to solidify their conference play with two big conference games to finish their season.
Senior Kamryn Gastler knows that it will be a tough matchup, but has confidence in herself and her teammates to become district champions in the end.
“Him (Albrecht) and Coach Kelly Obley were really adamant on us needing to believe that we can win it,” Gastler said. “We can win it. It is very possible, and a lot of these girls haven’t ever won a district championship. My first time was this year in tennis.”