MCHS girls cruise past Wright City

By Theo Tate
Posted 1/25/24

The Montgomery County girls basketball team didn’t show any signs of slowing down when it took on Wright City in an Eastern Missouri Conference road game on Jan. 18.

Playing in their …

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MCHS girls cruise past Wright City


The Montgomery County girls basketball team didn’t show any signs of slowing down when it took on Wright City in an Eastern Missouri Conference road game on Jan. 18.

Playing in their second game in 24 hours, the Wildcats turned in their largest offensive output of the season against Wright City to remain undefeated in conference play. MCHS cruised to an 82-24 win to improve to 15-1 overall and 5-0 in EMO play.

The night before, the Wildcats pounded Bowling Green 55-17 in a home game at Ballew & Snell Court. The win over Wright City extended their conference winning streak to 46 games.

MCHS is looking to win its fifth straight conference title. The Wildcats have Van-Far (Jan. 30, home), Clopton (Feb. 1, away), Mark Twain (Feb. 6, home), Louisiana (Feb. 8, away) and Elsberry (Feb. 12, home) remaining in their league schedule. They finished 10-0 in EMO play in each of the last four seasons.

“We would like to go ahead and win another one,” MCHS coach Joe Basinger said. “These girls worked really hard. That’s a shared goal for theirs, so we’re going to try to continue to work towards the goal.”

MCHS came back from a 6-4, first-quarter deficit to beat Wright City for the 15th consecutive time. The Wildcats also came up nine points short of a team record 91 points that was set against Winfield during the 1989-90 season.

“Those girls from Wright City really came out and were on fire,” Basinger said. “They really tried hard. But those girls hit a wall about halfway through that first quarter. (Assistant) Coach (Bruce) Powers looked at me and said, ‘They’re gassed.’ Our girls really dug in right there. Those girls worked hard. We worked them hard for conditioning and it showed.”

Senior Malia Rodgers finished with 21 points to lead the Wildcats. Senior Maddy Queathem had 19 points with five 3-pointers after finishing with 11 points against Bowling Green the previous night. Senior Madi Polston finished with 10 and senior Olivia Shaw added nine, all of them in the first quarter.

The Wildcats turned in their best defensive effort of the season against Bowling Green the night before. The 17 points allowed marked a season low.

Basinger said the rigorous practices helped prepare his team for the contests against Bowling Green and Wright City.

“We push the girls pretty hard in practice every day, so they’re kind of used to playing game-type stuff night in and night out,” he said. “We don’t let up on them in practice. We make them go.”

MCHS senior Claire Cobb agreed.

“We do get pushed hard in practice,” she said. “No matter what mood Basinger is in and no matter what mood any of us girls are in, we’re always pushing each other to get better because there is no room for goofing off whenever we have all of this talent on the team, both JV and varsity.”

The hard work at practices is one of the main reasons the Wildcats are enjoying another successful season. MCHS clinched its seventh straight winning season with the victory over Wright City, which is a program record.

“It’s one of those things that you never want to take for granted,” Basinger said. “Our goal at the beginning of the year is to win more games than you lose. To do it seven straight years is incredible. I had great kids. We have great kids here in Montgomery and they worked really hard to accomplish those things.”

The Wildcats are also ranked third in the Class 3 Missouri Basketball Coaches Association poll. El Dorado Springs and Fair Grove are the top two teams.

“When we found out that we were ranked, I said to the girls that state rankings in the scheme of things don’t really matter by the end of the year because you’ve got to win to continue to progress on,” Basinger said. “But the fact of the matter is that people around the state are recognizing our program and they’re respecting it. To me, what’s so cool about it is these kids worked really hard to gain respect around the state of Missouri for the coaches. That’s what is special to me.”


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