High school basketball season is a little over a month in, and there are several area teams that are already making lots of noise this season. Three of those teams have received recognition by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA).
The McAuley Catholic girls basketball team is ranked #5 in Class 1 by the MBCA poll. The Lady Warriors made it to the state quarterfinals last year, and this season tout an 8-1 record. They’ve had to deal with some illnesses and injuries the last few weeks, which has cut down their roster to six available players, making their dominance that much more impressive.
Mike Howard, McAuley head coach, says, “It’s a nice recognition. At the end of the day we still have a job to do to hit our goals that we’ve set forth as a team. We’re gonna work hard. [We’ve] got the conference schedule right around the corner, and districts right around the corner, so we’re gonna prepare hard. We have a good chance to make a run at conference, make a run at districts again, and if we stay humble and healthy, make another run at the state tournament.”
The Carl Junction girls team also received recognition by the MBCA poll, being ranked #4 in Class 5. So far this season, they’ve compiled a 7-3 record (two of their losses came in tournament play). After falling in the state quarterfinals last season, the Lady Bulldogs are hoping for a state championship this season. They feel the honor is nice, but it’s not something to get too excited over just yet.
Brad Shorter, Carl Junction head coach, says, “It’s exciting for our program, and that’s something that we’ve been fortunate to have the last few years, and it shows with our hard work, our kids have worked hard and earned that honor, I guess, But it’s something that, it doesn’t matter a whole lot until the end of the season to see what we can do.”
Kloe Burk, Carl Junction junior, says, “We worked really hard to get at where we are, so I thought that was really good. And the chemistry that we have together, it’s just really cool to see how our team has grown.”
Lastly, the Webb City boys basketball team were ranked #8 in the MBCA poll, which is especially impressive considering most of the varsity didn’t even start practicing until the second week in December since the football team won state. The Cardinals are 5-2 at this point in the season, and have even earned head coach Jason Horn his 200th career win, which he says comes down to longevity and effort.
Horn says, “This group of seniors, they were in seventh grade when I came. So they’re five, six years into the program right now, doing all the same things since seventh grade, it’s been a big advantage for them. They put a lot of hard work in. It’s good that they’re getting recognized. I think our effort has been really good. There’s things that we’re gonna have to polish up defensively. Our rotations will get better. Obviously, we’re playing into shape right now.”
The Thomas Jefferson and College Heights boys teams also received votes in their respective classes as well. To view the full results of the MBCA poll, click here.