ST. LOUIS — The Parkway West Longhorns (9-3) will visit Ladue (8-3) in a conference matchup Friday night.
For the Ladue Rams, it’s the first home game that spectators will be allowed in the building. The school will allow a limited number of fans to attend in line with St. Louis County guidelines.
Ladue head basketball coach Chad Anderson said this enhances the atmosphere and provides a sense of normalcy for the players.
“It’ll be a lot of fun for sure to be able to see some faces in the stands and actually hear some background noise, and not just hear myself yelling,” Anderson said.
The Rams suffered their third loss of the season to Eureka on Jan. 15 but rebounded last Friday with a 62-39 victory over Orchard Farm.
Ladue has scored at least 50 points in seven of the team’s eight games this season despite missing key players in certain games.
Anderson said the team’s depth has been a necessity in a season like this.
“There’s been a lot of challenges,” Anderson said. “One of those being in the first 11 games that we’ve played, we have not been full strength for different reasons. Right now, I have two kids that are quarantined through our school for contract tracing in the classroom. So, they’re out. And then we’ve had a couple injuries here and there.”
Meanwhile, the Longhorns have had similar success of their own this season. Parkway West suffered its third loss of the season to Marquette on Jan. 8.
Parkway West head coach John Wright said the team has learned from its losses, which is helpful before the last stretch of the season.
“We’ve had three losses and I’ve felt like the guys have really tried to learn from each one,” Wright said. “So sometimes a few points here and there when you win can kind of take your focus off of your goal of improving throughout the season. And that’s what we’re really trying to do is to prepare ourselves to add that toughness to be able to play our best basketball as the season gets into February and March.”
Parkway West is led by junior guard Tre’ Bell, who’s averaging more than 12 points per game this season, and senior forward Logan Wich, who’s averaging more than 11 points this year.
Anderson said Ladue will be missing a key starter on Friday due to COVID-19-related issues but will rely on its speed and depth to face a larger Parkway West team.
Tipoff is at 7 p.m.