After entering the Class 3 District 16 Tournament as the No. 1 seed, Maryville girls basketball claimed the district championship with a 48-42 win over St. Pius X Feb. 28 in Cameron, Missouri.
The Spoofhounds (21-5) won their first district title since 2011, and coach Quentin Albrecht said he was excited to win a title with this team.
“Well we were very excited,” Albrecht said. “When we started this adventure, we took over a team that hadn’t won one game the season before. We knew we had our work cut out for us.”
In 2015-16, his first season with the ’Hounds, Albrecht brought the team’s win total to 8. Now, Maryville is nearing the end of one of its most successful seasons in school history.
Albrecht finds this season’s success “pretty rewarding” after fighting to climb out of the hole he found the ’Hounds in.
“That first season, we were teaching the kids discipline and how to work hard and dedication,” Albrecht said. “Now, I have a group of kids that have bought in and now see that time and dedication pay off.”
Despite surpassing the 20-win barrier this season, and taking the Spoofhounds to back-to-back district championships, Albrecht hasn’t won a district title in 20 years. His drought, he said, came as a surprise to him as he expected to win more championships after his last with Trenton High School in 2000.
“Last time I won (a district championship), I figured we’d win several more, but you never know,” Albrecht said. “Everything has to go your way. You not only have to have the players, but be in the right situation, and sometimes the ball has to bounce your way.”
For Albrecht’s teams, they could never get the ball to bounce in their court. Albrecht said the teams he’s led in the last two decades never took that metaphorical next step necessary to win a title.
In some ways, winning a championship is like raising a child. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a team to win a championship.
Albrecht changed the culture surrounding Maryville girls basketball and is no stranger to doing so with other teams. His resume in turning around programs that haven’t had the best records is rather extensive.
“I have a tendency to take over teams that haven’t been successful,” Albrecht said. “I kind of like that rebuilding process. I’ve never taken a team above 0.500, but I’ve never left a team that wasn’t.”
He has been successful in turning around programs in Trenton (boys and girls), Mountain Grove and now in Maryville.
For the last 30 years, Albrecht has been applying this same method to his team and getting the results he enjoys seeing. However, the wins don’t mean as much to him as the teams he bonds with. His passion not only for basketball but also for coaching extends far beyond the wins.
“I don’t coach just to win ball games; I don’t coach just to win championships, I coach for lots of other reasons,” Albrecht said. “I just enjoy being around young people because it makes me feel young as I get older. I enjoy just being part of a group and working with people on goals.”
Team-oriented mindsets and goal setting are focal points in Albrecht’s coaching methods. He has proven that he can change teams for the better and plans to continue until he finishes his career. He said he strives to have his players work to build something that, when they come back to, they can be proud of. Something to be proud of, of course, would be a state championship.