It was a bit of a reversal for the Muskie junior boys’ basketball team at their home tournament over the weekend.
After romping their way to gold last year, the black-and-gold—hit by a plethora of promotions to the senior squad—finished winless this time around.
In their first action of the season, the juniors dropped all four games, losing 54-23 to St. Thomas Aquinas (Kenora), 51-36 to Dryden, 67-12 to Churchill (Thunder Bay), and 42-26 to Beaver Brae (Kenora).
Still, head coach Greg Ste. Croix was encouraged by what he saw in every game except against Churchill, which ended up proving to be a wash.
“We played well in three of the four games,” Ste. Croix noted. “The game against Churchill, they pushed the pace of the game and we really didn’t have any answers.
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, and it’s going to be baby steps,” he added.
“We’ve got to work on all aspects of the game,” he stressed.
Ste. Croix was encouraged by Colton Craig’s play given the second-year player has to try to handle the opponents’ top players game in and game out.
“I thought Colton Craig did a great job,” Ste. Croix lauded.
“He’s forced to play against the best players on every team we play, and he’s doing a good job.”
The Muskies are slated to open the NorWOSSA regular season here next Tuesday (Dec. 14) against Dryden, then will travel to Kenora on Dec. 16 before the Christmas break.
Although the early returns indicate a bit of a spread between the Muskies and their NorWOSSA rivals, Ste. Croix hopes to see some development between now and the league playoffs in February.
“We’re just at the start of our season here,” he noted. “Hopefully, we can close the gap over the course of the season.
“It’s a long season, for sure,” he stressed.