With the conclusion of the regular season nearing, the Maryville College Lady Scots’ Basketball team has put together a stellar season once again, with hopes to move deep into the NCAA Tournament.
They currently lead the USA South with an 9-1 conference record, and are 16-3 overall.
Though the Scots lost a few talented seniors after going 24-5 and advancing to the second round of the National Tournament last season, head coach Darrin Travillian maintained high expectations for this season.
“Although the roster might change from year to year, our expectations do not change,” Travillian said. “We ask our players to compete on every possession, to understand and buy into our system, and to care about everyone in our program. If everyone in our program embraces these values, we believe we have a chance to be successful.”
If anything, successful is an understatement for the Lady Scots this season, who have allowed opponents to shoot just 37.4% from the field. Their disciplined defense has held opponents to only 56.8 points per game, while scoring 71.1 points per game.
Travillian sets high standards on the defensive end.
“We set a goal of holding teams to 35% from the floor and under 30% from three in every contest,” he said. “Our formula is really pretty simple: contested threes, tough twos and no layups.”
The Scots have received help throughout the lineup this season, with ten players averaging more than 10 minutes per game. Sophomore Mackenzie Puckett has been tremendous, scoring 18.1 points and grabbing 8.2 rebounds per game.
Her performance thus far has earned her five USA South Player of the Week honors.
Travillian elaborated on the Scots’ array of contributors:
“Our senior backcourt has been critical to our success. Lailah Farmer and Lauren Trent have both played the point guard position in big games, so they have provided a steady influence and sense of security,” Travillian said. “Alex Bond has been assigned the duty of guarding the opponent’s best perimeter scorer, and she has given us another perimeter threat.
“We’ve gone with a post by committee, as Mindy Brackins, Kelsey Persinger and Linley Dunn have all provided big numbers at crucial times this season. Jordan Ballard and Lauren Trent have also played vital roles in the backcourt, whether it’s been coming up with big shots, hustle plays, or defensive stops.”
As the Scots look to clinch another USA South Conference title, they must stay disciplined in order to accomplish their goals.
“We have to continue to take great shots and finish plays on the offensive end,” Travillian said. “Defensively, we need to close possessions by rebounding the ball in traffic and limiting teams to one shot.”
Expectations are high for the Lady Scots, who have shown much promise and have hopes to make another impressive tournament run.
“We understand that there is a tradition of excellence in this program,” Travillian said. “We have embraced that challenge and do not shy away from it.”
With that said, their success on the court does not only stem from basketball skills, but from good character as well.
The Lady Scots strive for excellence in the classroom, and are expected by the coaching staff to be held to a high standard in their behavior and interactions on campus.
This season the Lady Scots have already exceeded expectations, and regardless of how the rest of the year pans out, their achievements will not be overlooked.