Muskie hoopsters drop tourney opener

The Muskie senior boys’ basketball team opened play at the John Taylor Classic tournament in Winnipeg last night with a 77-57 loss against Dakota Collegiate.
The loss dropped the black-and-gold to the consolation round, where they were to face Miles-McDonald this afternoon.
“It was a much better game for us than the score would indicate,” Muskie co-coach Paul Noonan said this morning. “The guys really played hard.”
Down 36-29 at the half, the Muskies could only pull within five points and had problems against the Cougars’ inside offence.
Jock Gemmell led the black-and-gold with 20 points while his younger brother, Kevin, netted nine. Jamie Algie, Dan Poperechny and Faical Cheblaoui each added eight.
It’s been a tough week for the defending NWOSSAA champs, who lost their first league game in three years after falling to the Dryden Eagles here Tuesday.
The Muskies, the lone Ontario team competing in the eight-team tournament, had hoped to improve on their bronze-medal showing last year.
Defending champion Martin Laboldus (Regina), who beat the Muskies in the semi-finals last year, did not attend this time around.
“We’re just looking to get some good competition this weekend,” Noonan had said yesterday before leaving for Winnipeg.
Meanwhile, the Muskie senior girls’ volleyball team is in Kenora for the first-annual St. Thomas Aquinas invitational tournament, which started this afternoon.
Beaver Brae (Kenora), Dryden, Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, Atiko-kan, Whitefish Bay, Pelican Falls, Westgate, Fort William Collegiate, and Hammarskjold (the latter three from Thunder Bay) round out the 12-team field.
The seniors, also the defending NWOSSAA champions, are winless in their first four league matches this season.