Muskie court teams win three of four

Returning to the friendly confines of the “Fish Tank” was just what the Muskie court teams needed.
After losing three of four matches in Dryden on Tuesday to open the NorWOSSA campaign, the Muskies took three of four from the visiting Kenora Broncos here yesterday.
The senior girls’ volleyball squad was the only team to lose, dropping three-straight sets (the scores were not available) to fall to 0-2 on the season.
The biggest turnaround came in junior girls’ volleyball action as the Muskies controlled play in sweeping the Broncos 25-6, 25-14, and 25-10 in their best-of-five showdown.
The team (1-1) was coming off a four-set loss in Dryden on Tuesday.
“I think enthusiasm was the big point of the day,” said junior head coach Struchan Gilson. “The girls on the bench were very vocal and cheering each other on.
“I think they played much better.”
Meanwhile, Greg Ste. Croix, coach of the junior boys’ basketball team, also was pleased with the difference the two days made. His team led the whole way in a 40-30 victory over the Broncos to improve to 1-1.
After leading 20-14 at halftime, the Muskies allowed Kenora to get within three points at 29-26 with less than six minutes to play. But baskets by Andrew Mueller, Scott Bridgeman, and Mark Buist put the black-and-gold up 35-30 with two minutes left.
“It’s a confidence builder for sure,” said Ste. Croix, whose team had lost by 19 points Tuesday in Dryden. “But there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Mueller led all scorers with 10 points, followed by Bridgeman (nine) and Buist (seven). Tyler Shussler led the Broncos with six points.
Finally, the Muskie senior boys’ basketball team improved to 2-0 on the season with a convincing 61-44 victory, getting a balanced scoring attack from six players.
First-year senior Keith McKay led the way with 10 points. Travis Derkson and Faical Cheblaoui each added nine while Jamie Algie and Jock Gemmell chipped in with eight.
Travis Young scored a game-high 13 points for the Broncos.
“We were able to play everybody,” said Muskie co-coach Paul Noonan, whose team led 31-23 at halftime.
In related news, the seniors are hosting a six-team tournament this weekend in which they’ll play three games—one earlier today against Churchill and two tomorrow (against Nipigon at 10:30 a.m. and Fort William Collegiate at 4:30 p.m.)
Dryden Eagles and the Broncos also will compete.
There is no playoff format as the team with the best record through three games will be named the winner.
Noonan said a full slate of games this week—after almost a month of practising—is exactly what his team relishes.
“It’s never too early. The more games you can play, the better you can get,” he reasoned.
The four court teams will play one more league game in Kenora next Thursday before the Christmas break, resuming their regular-season schedule here Jan. 8 against Dryden.