The Maryville girls basketball team's season drew to a close Feb. 23, after a second round district loss to the eventual champion Hamilton Hornets 64-55.
Maryville (11-15, 2-5 MEC) couldn't get to the final game of districts behind 33 points from freshman Serena Sundell. The stellar freshman now has the three highest single-game totals in Spoofhound history.
Sundell and junior teammate Emma Baldwin both received first team all-district awards as well.
Although Maryville lost to tournament host Penny, coach Quentin Albrecht said his team can take the Hornets' story and use it as encouragement.
"It is always nice to know that you lost to the best team in the area in our class," Albrecht said. "We can use Hamilton's championship as motivation. They had lost to Trenton three times, but in the end, they won the most important of those four games. So if first you don't succeed then try, try again."
The tale of the Hamilton Hornets will most likely be told in more than one locker room across the area. After the game, senior Amberlea Auffert explained in her four years as a Spoofhound, this year was the greatest.
"I was very happy with our season," Auffert said. "I think we kind of got on the low end of it when we got lower than 10 points. I wish we would've come back and won, but it doesn't matter at this point. What matters is we've improved after ever year, and this was our best year."
Led by a strong freshman class, the Spoofhounds look to build on what they have. The experience from this year will prove to be valuable as Maryville had three freshman get serious minutes. Freshman like Sundell, Emily Cassavaugh and Morgan Stoecklein will turn into on-court leaders with the experience from this year. Albrecht explained the best outcome from this season is now other teams have learned to take the Spoofhounds seriously.
Although the season has come to a close, Albrecht said next year is all about the preparations during the offseason.
"The season might be over, but the future is bright," Albrecht said "We showed tons of progress this year, and with a great offseason, we could be the ones playing for a district title. This is the most important offseason since I arrived at Maryville. We control our own destiny."
Optimism was surrounding the Maryville locker room knowing what the future holds for the team. Even though the Spoofhounds aren't bringing home a district title, they know that it's possible they could in just three years.
With the end of the season comes the end of an era. The Spoofhounds say goodbye to three seniors in Affurt, Jessica Sheil and Maddie Holtman. After the most successful season under Albrecht, he explained the standard is becoming higher from year to year.
"We expect to continue to raise the bar," Albrecht said. "In wins, expectations and competitiveness. The biggest addition will be the gaining of experience from this season. We also have a few girls from the middle school that we are excited to bring to the high school, and to see what they can do at this level."