Three-plus months removed from a season that yielded a district title and a Class 3 playoff appearance, the returning members of Maryville's boys basketball team are back on the hardwood this week for their annual summer camp.
Held at Maryville Middle School due to the installation of a new gym floor at MHS, the camp consists of four, two-hour practice sessions, the last of which is today. Middle School and elementary campers practice for an hour each day.
The Hounds have 32 high school-aged players at camp and around 15 of those are freshman.
Fundamentals are mainly what's being stressed, but there's also daily five-on-five games, a one-on-one contest and a shooting contest.
Senior-to-be Trent Nally won the one-on-one contest held Wednesday.
He's the team's top returning scorer and one of just two starters back from last year. The other is forward Ty Hilsabeck.
Maryville graduated its top three scorers, including first team all-state guard Jonathan Baker, creating a need for others to step up in order for the Hounds to remain one of the best teams in the state.
Based on their performance at camp, assistant coach Matt Stoecklein can already see that occurring.
"Some of these other kids that were role players last year have really stepped it up," said Stoecklein. "I've noticed this year they're more physical; they're more aggressive...We're going to have a bigger team then we've had and maybe even a more physical team then we've had with the strength they have."
Stoecklein ran camp Wednesday in place of head coach Mike Kuwitzky who had a doctor's appointment.
Assisting with the coaching responsibilities were former Hound standouts Keenan Joiner, Nic Mattson and Baker.
Joiner and Mattson, a varsity assistant, were starters on Maryville's 2010 district championship team.
Baker led last year's team in scoring, rebounding and assists. He's headed to Northwest Missouri State on a football scholarship.
"It's nice especially when you have former players that are great shooters, a great rebounder and a great point guard," said Stoecklein. "Having three experienced players for these kids to look up to is very nice."
Maryville's current crop of high school players have a busy rest of the summer to look forward to.
The Hound varsity is playing weekly games in the Lafayette Summer League. They'll attend a team camp at Creighton over the weekend and a shootout in Falls City later on. The JV team is going to a shootout in Savannah.