SAVANNAH, Mo. — The Maryville High School girls basketball team (1-0) got off to a fast start in the 2019-2020 season with a 64-45 Midland Empire Conference victory over the Savannah Savages (0-1) Tuesday night.
In the contest, just the first of her junior season, Serena Sundell set a new career scoring record for the Spoofhounds, leading the team to victory with 34 points to move her overall total to 1,124. The previous record was held by Jennifer McGary who scored 1,121 points through her sophomore, junior and senior seasons with the Maryville team.
But Sundell was not the only scoring threat on the court for Maryville on Tuesday night.
Maryville coach Quentin Albrecht started two freshmen in the season opener and one of those freshmen, Anastyn Pettlon, scored the first points of the year with a three-pointer just 25 seconds into the contest. Pettlon buried another three just a minute and a half later and with the first two of the night from Sundell, the Hounds were off to an 8-2 lead.
The Spoofhound offense started fast, forcing mistakes by Savannah with full-court pressure defense and riding the hot shooting hands of Pettlon and Sundell. Just half way through the first quarter, Maryville had set a torrid pace, leading 15-7.
That pace couldn't last and Savannah recovered somewhat to stay in the contest, but the lead was never in doubt.
Sundell scored 14 in just the first quarter to keep her team on top 20-12.
Albrecht backed off of the full-court pressure by the end of the first quarter, but the Hounds defense still picked up its opponents in man-to-man at half-court.
"We knew coming in that Savannah would throw everything they have at us," Albrecht said. "I thought they came out and played a whale of a ballgame. I thought they showed a lot of hustle, a lot of intensity. I thought that they never backed down once.
"You know, being a conference opponent, that kind of sets a little bit of a tone for us. It's a good win for us headed into the Savannah Tournament, which is the toughest tournament there is around, really."
Maryville never lead by less than nine points in the second quarter despite a consistent effort by the Savages. The Hounds took a 34-22 advantage into halftime, behind 21 points from Sundell.
Pettlon got hot again in the third quarter and knocked down two more three pointers. Five Spoofhounds scored in the third frame, building a 51-32 lead heading into the final eight minute period.
The biggest lead of the night came when Sundell stole the ball and dribbled the length of the court for a layup, giving her team a 22-point advantage, 62-40.
"This early in the year, obviously, we haven't reached our ceiling," Albrecht said. "We haven't played our best basketball. Sometimes our freshmen look like freshmen, but other times they look like seasoned veterans.
"We're excited about the group of kids we have up and down the lineup. We played nine girls tonight, I think four of the girls we played were freshmen and one was a sophomore, so we're really strong in our under classes and we feel we'll get better and better."
On the night, Sundell made 10 two-point field goals, three from three-point range and was five of eight from the foul line to account for her 34 points.
Pettlon scored all 12 of her points from behind the arc.
Junior Emily Cassavaugh and freshman Rylee Vierthaler each scored six points. Seniors Molly Renshaw and Emily Long and sophomore Lauren Cullin all scored two points apiece.
Savannah was led by a trio of sophomores with 14 points from sophomore Lexi Jones. Sophomore Emma Tipton scored seven points and sophomore Olivia Stites scored six.
Maryville will play Benton in pool play of the Savannah Invitational Tournament on Tuesday at 4 p.m. and then Staley at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The championship game of the girls SIT takes place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Maryville's boys are set to take on Hogan Prep at 5:30 p.m. Monday. A win there would move them to 5:30 p.m. Thursday to take on the winner of Benton and Smithville.