(ROSENDALE, Mo.) The North Andrew boys basketball team cruised through its first nine games, but they believe they are just getting started.
"We haven't even come close to peaking yet," Cardinal head coach Rory Jackson said.
The Cardinals had three days to transition from a state runner-up football team into the basketball team that stormed through the PVC Tournament.
"We started off the year pretty good with very little practice time," Jackson said. "We really got after it."
"We were a little rusty," forward Jeremiah Libich said. "First game we came out was a little rough, but we're getting there, trying to get better."
This year's squad that's out to a 9-0 start is using last season as motivation; St. Joe Christian topped North Andrew by 11 in the district title game.
"It's been biting us a little bit, so we're ready to get back at it," Junior Quayde Bauman said.
"Our goal right now is to get better everyday," Jackson said. "We want to be better from practice to practice, from game to game, and so far we've done that we've yet to really put it all together. Hopefully February will be our month."
North Andrew has a chance to keep its unbeaten run alive if they keep getting production from Libich. He's averaging 19 points and 10 rebounds through the first nine games.
"He's really stepped up this year," Jackson said. "He was a transfer last year and only got to play half of the season. He's averaging a double-double for us. Teams this early are already starting to key on him, and he's doing a great job of making everybody else better."
"He's huge. When we play, some teams go into a zone and double down on him and it opens everything else up a little bit more," Bauman said. "There's people around here that are good athletes, but he's quite the deal down low. He's hard to guard."
The Cardinals have their long term sights set on their first trip to the state final four since 2004, but right now, they are looking forward to their first two week break without a game of any kind in nearly four months.
"We made it to Christmas break, so that's all we're happy with," Bauman said. "Now we can actually practice a little bit."
North Andrew first game action after the break comes on January 4th against Union Star.