Muskie offence struggles at home tourney

With his high-speed offence stuck in neutral, Darren Johnson is searching for answers and a quick fix to the problem.
“I don’t really know how to explain this,” said the head coach of the Muskie senior girls’ basketball team, which finished fourth with a 1-2 record at its annual home tournament last weekend.
“The girls were trying to think too much. Maybe sitting around the bleachers all day [Saturday] left them mentally tired,” he remarked.
Whatever the reason, the Muskies played much of the weekend like they had never taken a shot before in their home gym.
Defence was more of a problem for the black-and-gold in their opening 42-31 loss Friday afternoon to the eventual tournament champion St. Ignatius Falcons of Thunder Bay.
Tiana D’Angelo had 13 points and Sheena Potosky added 12 to spark the Falcons. Carling Barton responded with eight points for the Muskies, with Danielle McGee chipping in seven.
An effective full-court press against the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora) on Saturday morning spurred the Muskies to a 14-7 halftime lead.
But the Saints adjusted well at the break and their revitalized play—combined with the Muskies’ sloppy passing—made it 16-14 after three quarters.
Both sides missed a multitude of shots in the fourth, but the home team found the bottom of the net just enough to squeeze out a 20-18 victory over the Saints.
Christina Romaniuk and Andrea Boileau had four points apiece to lead Fort High. The top scorers for the Saints were unavailable.
Scoring continued to be problematic later Saturday as the Muskies looked lost for most of their 22-18 defeat at the hands of the St. Patrick Saints (Thunder Bay).
The Muskies looked lethargic in the first half, trailing 12-7 at the break. A more energized host team took the court in the third quarter, though, and promptly reeled off an 8-2 run to grab a 15-14 lead with 5:25 left in the period.
The subsequent time-out called by St. Patrick not only calmed them down, it drained the life out of the Muskies’ attack.
Turnovers and poor shot selections rendered the Muskies pointless for the next 13:23, until Hope Wilson’s three-pointer swished through with two seconds left on the clock.
“It took a while to get people going and you can’t do that in games like these,” Wilson said afterwards. “It’s going to be tough to come back from this. Everyone’s down right now.”
Johnson wasn’t buying the argument that the Muskies’ two-week layoff had anything to do with last weekend’s performance.
“At some point during three games in two days, you have to shake that rust off,” he remarked. “Down in Thunder Bay, we beat St. Patrick by 11 points.
“I’m very disappointed in how we played.”
The Dryden Eagles and Kenora Broncos rounded out the six-team field.

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