MARYVILLE, Mo. — After beating East Buchanan in its first meeting, the Maryville High School girls basketball team was handed its second loss of the season, falling 48-45 to the Bulldogs Tuesday.
The Spoofhounds (11-2, 1-0 MEC) squared off against East Buchanan in the championship game of the LeBlond Holiday Tournament where they defeated the Bulldogs on two last-second free throws from junior guard Serena Sundell.
Tuesday’s meeting was much of the same. East Buchanan was the top dog in the first quarter as the back and forth scoring halted and the Bulldogs gained momentum giving them a 16-9 advantage at the end of the first period.
“First of all, they’re a really well-coached basketball team,” head coach Quentin Albrecht said. “(East Buchanan head coach) Cori Elms is as good a coach as there is in the area. I think she had her girls prepared and ready to play.”
Maryville struggled to overcome turnovers and offensive deficiencies as East Buchanan grew its lead to 20-12 near the midway point of the quarter.
Albrecht gave Elms’ defense the credit for his offense’s shortcomings.
“They kind of challenge us to step up,” Albrecht said of the East Buchanan defense. “In the beginning, we didn’t do that very well but I think in the second half we probably just did a little bit better.”
Sundell accounted for all of Maryville’s points at halftime as the Hounds went into the break down 26-18. Despite a rough first half, Sundell said her confidence with her teammates never wavered.
“I just trust our offense and trust what we’ve done in practice,” Sundell said. “I’ve seen all those girls I play with make a shot before and I know what they can do.”
The Spoofhounds found themselves down 11 points before things would turn around. Frustration seemed to settle into the home bench as Albrecht called a timeout with 1:16 left in the quarter and the offense still stagnant.
As the fourth quarter started, players were showing visible signs of displeasure, something Albrecht said is uncharacteristic of his team.
“We didn’t answer the bell probably as we have in some games,” Albrecht said. “In the first half, the shots wouldn’t fall for us and I think through our body language you could read we were a little bit frustrated. I had a couple of girls that were asking the referees for calls and that’s not who we are.”
Despite the Bulldogs’ best efforts, the Hounds still fought their way back into the game as they narrowed East Buchanan’s lead to five with 5:46 left in the game. Maryville cut the lead to two but never pulled ahead and the Bulldogs wouldn’t go away, making their free throws at the end of the game
“I honestly give a lot of credit to them,” Albrecht said. “I just think they beat us. That happens sometimes. Honestly, if you play the game you’re going to lose some.”
Sundell finished the game with 33 of the Spoofhounds‘ 45 points, scoring 13 in the final quarter. Junior Emily Cassavaugh finished the game with seven points.
“They’re a well-coached team and played our screens and what we do on offense very well,” Sundell said. “We didn’t have too many answers and they put the ball in the basket a lot and we couldn’t find the rim all the time but that’s just how it goes sometimes. It’s a good learning experience.”
Maryville’s game scheduled for Friday against Falls City at the Hound Pound has been moved up to Thursday with the girls game starting at 6 p.m., boys game to follow.