Senior girls’ Cinderella run one to remember

Part of the reason we, as fans, love sports so much is the unpredictability of it.
For every expected outcome, there’s usually a shocking upset, such as Texas A&M’s big win over the defending national champions and top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in college football last Saturday night.
So to see the Muskie senior girls’ basketball team knock off higher-ranked teams from Kenora and Dryden to capture NorWOSSA gold last Thursday was something quite amazing to see unfold.
This was a team that had gone 2-6 during the regular season to finish at the bottom of the three-team loop, with their losses either coming in heart-breaking fashion or in games that were decided rather early.
In fact, it wasn’t until the end of the regular season that the black-and-gold had earned their two wins for the campaign—defeating the second-place Broncos both at Fort High and in Kenora.
Could have been the turning point—and the extra confidence the girls needed in order to succeed? Perhaps.
But it may have been the fact the squad was deemed the underdogs and the also-rans by so many heading into the playoffs that proved to be the extra motivation, as they dispatched the Broncos and first-place Eagles by identical 32-20 scores to win their first NorWOSSA title since the 2009 campaign.
“That entire day we just had an attitude where we had nothing to lose,” said Grade 12 student Adriane Gurski.
“For a lot of us, this is our Grade 12 year and we knew that this could be the last high school game that we would be playing in.
“So it was just a feeling of ‘let’s go all out’ and see what happens,” she reasoned.
To advance to the all-Ontarios, which will be held Nov. 22-24 in Sault Ste. Marie, will be a tough task, however, as the black-and-gold are going up against the St. Ignatius Falcons in the NWOSSAA playoffs this weekend in Thunder Bay.
Not only do the Falcons hold a 7-1 record in league play this season, they also have won the last three titles in the Lakehead, with their most recent coming Monday night in a 47-36 victory over the Hammarskjold Vikings.
But while the odds may looked stacked against Fort High, they’ve already proven they can surpass the obstacles put in front of them—and can climb over them with ease.
“This hasn’t happened for a quite a few years here and no one was really expecting this from us, so this is all definitely a bonus,” enthused 12th-grader Alanna Walsh.
“It would be a great bonus to go to OFSAA, and that’s what we are looking at as a goal this weekend, but we are also being very realistic about it,” she added.
“To make it this far is a huge accomplishment already, and everyone on the team is proud for what we have been able to do.”