Junior hoopsters steadily improving

Progress sometimes is a slow process—especially when dealing with junior high school athletes.
After a less-than-ideal start to the season, the Muskie junior boys’ basketball team has been making slow but steady improvement.
Their latest step forward came at the St. Anne Collegiate junior varsity tournament in St. Anne, Man. over the weekend.
Despite watching his team finish with a 1-2 record in round-robin play to miss out on the playoff round, head coach Gord McCabe was pleased with the Muskies’ performance.
“I was very, very pleased with the way we played this weekend,” he said. “The four kids that we’ve got in Grade 9 really made the transition from elementary school basketball players to high school basketball players.
“I had hoped for maybe a little bit better results on the scoreboard, but we started to do a lot of things right,” he added. “I saw some really, really good things out of the kids.”
The black-and-gold opened round-robin play against the eventual tournament champion College Beliveau Barracudas.
In a tightly-contested affair, the Barracudas took control late in the game—going on a 11-4 run in the final three minutes en route to the 55-48 victory.
Afterwards, McCabe pointed to poor foul shooting as a main factor in the defeat.
“We lost 20 points at the line that we could have had,” he lamented. “Had we even had half of those, it might have been a different story.”
Kurt Hill led the Muskies with 19 points while Justin Anderson and Evan McCabe each had seven.
But the Muskies rebounded from their opening loss with a 65-17 rout over Nelson House in their second round-robin game.
Hill once again led the Muskies in scoring with 13 points. Theron Holden added 10 points while Dan Brunetta and Anderson each chipped in eight.
The Muskies then started strong in their final round-robin game against the host St. Anne Collegiate Lynx—building a 31-22 lead by halftime.
But a combination of fatigue, foul trouble, and an inability to finish around the basket allowed the Lynx to rally for a 62-54 victory.
“We ran out of gas,” Gord McCabe said.
Chris Legg led the Muskies with 14 points. Hill added 10 points while Evan McCabe and Anderson each had seven.
The junior hoopsters were coming off their first NorWOSSA victory of the season—a 37-33 triumph over the Eagles last Thursday in Dryden which evened their league record at 1-1.
Evan McCabe led the Muskies with 14 points in that one while Justin Bujold and Hill each added six.
The squad resumes NorWOSSA action here tomorrow (Dec. 14) in a rematch against the Eagles starting at 3:30 p.m.