Once again on Monday it was time for the annual MOCO Shootout, a day-long set of girls basketball scrimmages that takes place at Montgomery County High School and Middle School and featured fellow Eastern Missouri Conference teams like North Callaway, Wellsville-Middletown and Silex.
Far from being a league event, also in attendance was a wide and varied cast that also included Owensville, New Haven, Bowling Green, Knox County, Hermann and Transportation and Law. Because each program also brought along its JV program, that allowed the games to be separated so that the varsity played at the high school and the JV was at the midle school.
"It's been a really good day of basketball. We've got several local teams here, and some that come from quite a ways away, like Knox County came up. It's really a nice mix of schools," said Montgomery County varsity girls basketball coach Joe Basinger. "We also got some schools from the Four Rivers like Hermann, New Haven and Owensville came up."
For the Lady Wildcats at this event they began by taking on Owensville at 10 a.m. The team then played New Haven at 1 p.m. and at 2:30 p.m. Montgomery County defeated Knox County 40-20 after going into halftime with a meager 13-12 lead. The squad then had to play a fourth time because another team dropped out at 4 p.m. against Transportation and Law. Format for this event included two timeouts per team per game, haltime was three minutes and there was a running clock.
"I'm really happy with where we are right now. We've played about eight or nine games this summer so far and the girls are really starting to figure each other out," Basinger said. "We've been running the same offense now for a couple years and they're starting to figure that out. Our defense hasn't changed much and they're really communicating and working hard."
Helping to officiate these scrimmages were several familiar faces at Montgomery County High School. This included Athletic Director Adam Faloon and barsity football coach John Klekamp.
"Taylor Flake is one of the players that is new to varsity this season. She battled injuries early in the year last year as a freshman, so she played a lot of JV," said Basinger. "She was our leading scorer on JV. She's going to do a lot of good things for us. She really gives us a stretch-four type option because she's a girl who can shoot it. We also have Brooke Oden. She's the 6-foot-2, 6-foot-3 girl in the middle. She tore her ACL as a freshman, so last year as a sophomore we were just getting her back in the mix."
The one loss this program did suffer to graduation was 1,000 point career scorer Kayla Schmidt. She was a post player who contributions will be missed most in the paint, but because the group she left behind is experienced enough to show these newcomers the ins and outs of what it means to be a Lady Wildcat, Basinger is hoping what he has on hand is enough to replace what he lost.
"We had our own team camp here and we've been to two varsity shootouts. Next up for us is a trip to Lake of the Ozarks (on June 20-21)," Basinger said. "After that it's just open gyms. We'll be done playing games after Lake of the Ozarks.