With two back-to-back postseason wins against the Lathrop Mules and the St. Pius X Warriors, the Maryville boys basketball team came into the week with a headstrong approach to continuing their postseason run.
The Spoofhounds (23-2) had a tough fight against the Mules but eventually came out on top with a final score of 55-45 Feb. 21. While this game was important for future district play, their eyes were set on their next matchup against a strong and well-rounded district rival in St. Pius X.
“It woke us up a little bit. If you don't take everything as seriously as possible, then you could lose any time,” coach Matt Stoecklein said.
Only a day after beating Lathrop (18-4) game, the Spoofhounds battled St. Pius X (17-8) and came out with a final score of 74-57, adding roughly 17 more points to their final score compared to their first matchup against the 17-7 Warriors.
Since then, Maryville has done nothing but prepare for its Class 3 State Tournament run against an array of difficult opponents, the first of which is St. Michael the Archangel High School coming in with a season record of 14-10.
“They have a lot of shooters, so we’ve been watching a lot of film. Whatever we think they’re going to do, we’re going to get ready for it,” Stoecklein said. “It’s definitely a game that we could lose, but we’ve got to be ready.”
As the Spoofhounds continue their postseason campaign against such competitive opponents, their first game of the Class 3 State Tournament is against the St. Michael the Archangel Guardians Feb. 27. The Guardians are coming into the game with a season record of 14-10 and are seen as just another stepping stone on the Spoofhounds’ way to state.
“No matter who the opponent is, we’re always going to prepare for them,” junior guard Jaden Hayes said. “Even though their record’s not the best, they’re here for a reason, so we’re not going to look past it.”
With the Guardians playing some of the same district contenders as Maryville and coming out on top to the likes of teams like St. Pius, other teams like Monroe City (24-4) and St. Paul Lutheran (25-1) are obstacles the Spoofhounds must face to continue their run.
“Everybody comes in today, and we’re working hard,” Hayes said. “We’re always going to prepare for a team no matter what they are, 25-1 or 14-10.”
Being one of the top teams in their Class 3 Sectionals bracket, the Spoofhounds have expected to win their last few games and hope to continue that outlook as they move farther and farther along in postseason play.
“I think they fully expected to win,” Stoecklein said. “They knew they had to go out and play great, and they did.”
Results of Maryville’s matchup with St. Michael the Archangel were not available at the time of publication. Follow @NWMSports on Twitter for the game’s final score.