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By Sara Smith
A new year brings about a feeling of renewal, an opportunity for a new start. The Schuyler R-1 basketball teams aren’t looking for a fresh start however, they are seeking to keep going with what they have started.
The Lady Rams begin the new calendar year with a record of seven wins and three losses. They are averaging 49.1 points per game while only allowing an average of 40.7 points for the opposing team. Most importantly, they are settling into their style of play and finding success with it.
The Rams ended 2023 with eight wins and only one loss. That loss was meted out on December 2nd, so it has been awhile since the Rams have lost a game. Their win at the NCMC Holiday Shootout versus Polo extended their win streak to six games. They are averaging nearly seventy points per game, 69.9 to be exact. The opposite side of that coin is that the Rams’ opponents are scoring a scant 42.9 points on average. The Rams are playing with speed and agility, their defense is making a difference to the outcome of the game.
Before diving into the upcoming schedule it might be helpful to outline the district and conference opponents. Schuyler has been assigned to Class 2 District 6 by the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) based upon enrollment numbers and general geographic location.
*Canton is in the boys’ district but not in the girls, while Marceline is in the girls’ district but not in the boys.
At the end of February MSHSAA will sponsor district tournaments all across the state. The Rams and Lady Rams will compete against the other district teams in a tournament. If either team comes out on top of the district tournament they will continue on in a state tournament. The Lady Rams achieved this pinnacle just last season. They won the district title, but were defeated in the next round of the state tournament.
Conversely, while district matchups are assigned by MSHSAA, a conference is a collective of similarly-sized schools that generally compete in the same sports. The schools in the conference have voluntarily opted into that conference. Schuyler R-1 is a member of the Lewis and Clark Conference along with Fayette, Harrisburg, Knox County, Marceline, Paris, Salisbury, Scotland County, and Westran. Rather than a tournament, the winner of the conference is determined by the team with the best win-loss record at the end of the season. You can expect to see some changes to the conference next year as Marceline, Fayette, and Harrisburg have opted out and are leaving for different conferences.
So what is in store for the Rams and Lady Rams in 2024? Both teams aspire to continue to ride the victory train in the second half of the season, to do so they will have to contend with these adversaries in January:
Tuesday, January 2 vs. La Plata (district)
Thursday, January 4 vs. Putnam County (district)
Monday, January 8 vs. Fayette (conference)
Tuesday, January 9 @ North Shelby
Friday, January 12 @ Atlanta
Monday, January 15 – Saturday, January 20 @ North Shelby Tournament
Tuesday, January 23 @ Scotland County (district & conference)
Friday, January 26 @ Knox County (district & conference)
Monday, January 29 – Saturday, February 3- @ La Plata Invitational
One of the things to take note of in the January basketball schedule is the string of away games. The first three contests are all played at home, after that the Rams and Lady Rams are hitting the road. As a matter-of-fact, neither team will play at home until Courtwarming & Senior Night on Friday, February 9 versus Salisbury. That many away games will be a challenge for certain.