Junior hoopsters strike balance

The Muskie junior boys’ basketball team is hoping a more balanced lineup will lead to success this season.
The black-and-gold are coming off a season that saw them advance to the NorWOSSA final only to get routed 64-27 by the Kenora Broncos.
“We were sick but the way they played in the final. Even if we’d been at our best, we wouldn’t have beaten them,” Muskie head coach Gord McCabe said of last year’s championship game.
“They [Kenora] just played great.”
McCabe, now in his first full season as coach of the junior Muskie hoopsters, is hoping a more balanced approach this season will yield better results.
“I’m really happy with the way we’re looking right now,” he said last week. “I think we’ll probably be going, easily, five deep into our bench without much of a change in players.
“I could see this being a team where if we score 40 points, five different players might have eight.”
The Muskies boast a good combination of size and speed this season which, says McCabe, should allow for more diverse play-calling at the offensive end.
“I think we’re going to be able to go a number of ways,” he said. “We’ve got some good size underneath, certainly some good height.
“Kurt Hill is running about 6’4” and we’ve got a few other kids who are six feet and above who can really jump,” McCabe added.
“I see some real potential from our guards in terms of ball control and outside shooting.”
But while McCabe is optimistic about the Muskies’ chances this season, he’s hesitant to predict the team’s fortunes, preferring instead to take a wait-and-see approach.
“I’ve been in this game long enough to not predict how well you’re going to do,” he said.
“Sometimes you think that you’re going to have a really fabulous team and then you find out that either Dryden or Kenora is really, really strong.
“And sometimes you’re thinking, ‘Gee, maybe this is a rebuilding year’ and all of a sudden you’re doing really well,” he added.
“Our goal is to be the best team we can be and we’ll see how far that takes us.”
The Muskies open NorWOSSA play tomorrow (Dec. 5) when they host the Kenora Broncos starting at 5 p.m.