Mixed results for Owls’ hoopsters

Jamie Mountain

Monday afternoon produced two different results for the Rainy River Owls’ senior and junior girls’ basketball teams.
The seniors were in tough against a skilled St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora) team and suffered their second-straight loss with a 43-30 defeat in NorWOSSA ‘A’ action at RRHS.
The Owls (3-2) trailed 24-11 at halftime but outscored the Saints 11-10 in the third quarter to trim it to 34-22.
But on the back of Sarah From’s game-high 16 points, the Saints outscored the Owls 9-8 in the fourth quarter to preserve their second-straight victory against them.
“My team played OK after a very rough start to the first quarter,” Owls’ head coach Rebecca Tolen said.
“Those early minutes were what killed us,” she conceded. “Once we regrouped, we were in that game.
“If we play them in playoffs this year, we will need to come out strong from the beginning,” Tolen stressed.
The Owls came into the game following a lopsided 50-29 defeat to those same Saints back on Oct. 4, so Monday’s effort was visibly better.
The squad was supposed to host the Red Lake Rams last Wednesday but the game was cancelled due to inclement weather.
It has been rescheduled for Oct. 31 at RRHS.
The Owls next were slated to host the Ignace Falcons today, with the outcome not known as of press time.
Tolen had some areas in mind that her squad would be looking to clean up ahead of today’s game.
“We need to focus on running our offence more efficiently,” she remarked.
“We need to score those easy post shots we kept missing this week,” she added. “Our defence is strong and the other teams are finding it incredibly frustrating.
“The key to our success [today] will be to show up and play from whistle to whistle, not to hold anything back.”
The junior Owls, meanwhile, improved their league record to 5-0 with a 30-23 win Monday over the visiting Saints.
Naomi Carradice and Kirsten Armstrong each netted a team-high seven points while Taya Hagarty added six.
The Owls also had defeated St. Thomas Aquinas 38-29 in their previous meeting back on Oct. 4.
“It was a little sloppy but we played well enough to win,” Owls’ head coach Corey Smith said of Monday’s win.
“We will keep trying to clean things up for our tournament in Thunder Bay this weekend,” he noted.
Smith felt as though his entire starting five unit played well Monday.
“They played a lot of minutes, and were able to keep up the tempo and get back on defence,” he lauded.
Ignace doesn’t have a junior girls’ team so the junior Owls next will be in action this Friday and Saturday at the Tiger Fall Classic tournament in Thunder Bay.
Both squads won’t see NorWOSSA action again until Oct. 29 when they host the Atikokan Voyageurs.