Defence leads hoopsters to wins

They say the best offence is a good defence, and that’s propelled the Muskie senior girls’ basketball team to a perfect 5-0 record in NorWOSSA action so far this season.
The squad’s latest win was a convincing 47-17 shellacking over Dryden here yesterday afternoon. Their new trap press bottled up the Eagles all afternoon and created a barrage of turnovers.
“I think we played, all around, okay,” said guard Sarah Noonan, who had a game-high 16 points. “The defence was good.”
So good, in fact, that the black-and-gold held the Eagles to just two points for much of the first quarter and led 16-8 at halftime.
“Yeah, I was happy in spurts and not so happy in spurts,” noted Muskie head coach Gord McCabe. “I’m not disappointed in our defence [because] our trap worked well in spurts.”
What also worked in spurts was the Muskie offence, which had quality chances underneath the basket but only were able to score on a small percentage of those easy baskets.
“I was really surprised when I found out I had scored 16 because my shooting wasn’t that good,” admitted Noonan.
McCabe said the offence did manage to go on a couple of 6-0 runs in the game but all in all, he felt it has a long way to go in improving.
“I think it could be psychological a bit in that the girls go on a couple of runs and take the lead and sort of relax a bit,” he noted. “But we try not to let that happen.”
McCabe said part of the problem was not converting their chances underneath the basket despite the fact Siobhan Devlin also was in double figures with 10 points.
“We really didn’t get stellar play out of our posts and we have to to keep other teams honest,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, the junior Muskies improved their NorWOSSA record to 4-1 with an exciting 39-30 win over the Eagles here yesterday.
It looked to be a rout early on as the black-and-gold jumped out to a 17-2 first-quarter lead and a 20-8 advantage by halftime. But the game turned into a tight battle down the stretch as the Eagles outscored their hosts 9-8 in the third quarter and then 13-11 in the fourth to make the score respectable.
McCabe said the key to victory definitely was their strong start and their ability to cause turnovers with the press.
“It could have been 30-2 after the first quarter,” he noted. “It was wide open but we missed too many shots.”
Danielle McGee once again led the Muskies with 10 points while Dana Ward netted eight and Allison Hyatt added seven.
Both basketball teams also resume NorWOSSA action tomorrow in Kenora.