ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Sometimes in sports and in life—you have to take your lumps. The Maryville Spoofhounds took more than a few lumps Friday night at Benton High School. The Cardinals defeated the Spoofhounds 62-32.
“We ran across a really good team that is really well coached, has a great tradition and what we ran into was a better basketball team,” Spoofhounds coach Quentin Albrecht said. “I don’t think there is any shame in losing to a better team, it’s about how you lose.”
Maryville hung with the No. 2 team in the state for a majority of the first quarter. Serena Sundell led off the game with a two-point field goal to take the early lead. Benton’s Kianna Hererra followed that with four-straight points to give the Cardinals the lead.
Emily Cassavaugh and Sundell combined for four-straight on the Spoofhounds’ end to take a 6-4 lead with 3:58 left in the first quarter. The lead would be short-lived as the Cardinals’ press defense forced multiple turnovers — leading to a 6-0 Benton run.
“There were some forced turnovers, they came out in a press that we weren’t ready for and forced some turnovers that led to easy baskets,” Albrecht said.
Cassavaugh’s layup made it a one possession game with 2:20 left in the first quarter, but back-to-back baskets from Mia Henderson pushed the lead to seven. Benton’s 12-2 run from the 3:25 mark of the first quarter to the beginning of the second quarter was the beginning of the end for the Spoofhounds. Sundell put a pause on Benton’s run with two points, but the Cardinals responded with seven-straight.
Sundell and Cassavaugh tried retaking the momentum with a 5-0 run between the two, but Henderson’s back-to-back 3-pointers any chance of that.
“Number 32 (Henderson), you have to take your hat off to her, she played a great basketball game,” Albrecht said. “She had several offensive rebounds and we just didn’t really have an answer for her, that’s not particularly any of our girls’ fault, I just think it goes to the type of player that she is.”
Benton ended the first half on an 11-2 run, ending the half with a 35-17 lead. Sundell and Cassavaugh were the only two Spoofhounds to score in the first half, Sundell with eight and Cassavaugh with nine points.
The Spoofhounds didn’t have an answer coming out of halftime as Benton began the second half with a 9-0 run. Cassavaugh scored the first basket of the second half with a 3-pointer at the 4:30 mark. The Cardinals, again, responded with back-to-back baskets. Sundell ended the third quarter with five-straight points.
“We decided to stay with our man-to-man, get some practice in our man-to-man and we kind of played more of a sagging man against their dribble weave,” Albrecht said. “We were hoping that they wouldn’t spot up and hit threes, so we executed the game plan, they just executed their offense better.”
The two teams combined for just 13 points in the fourth quarter as Benton cruised to their 19th win of the season, while Maryville dropped to 13-7. Sundell led the Spoofhounds with 15 points, while Cassavaugh finished with 14.
Maryville will attempt to get back on track on Monday with a matchup against Cameron and then Savannah on Thursday. Cameron is 8-13 this season but will come into the matchup with back-to-back wins. Maryville has beaten Savannah twice this season, once on Dec. 1 and then again on Dec. 20. Albrecht is anxious to see how his team responds after Friday night’s loss.
“It could be a season turner, you know we’ll find out Saturday with how our girls respond depending on what type of practice we have,” Albrecht said. “I hope that our girls are mentally tough, emotionally tough and physically tough enough that they can just let this roll off them like water off a duck’s back.”