Muskie seniors bash Bears

Joey Payeur

But juniors
not so lucky

The hardwood in Baudette, Mn. suited the Muskie senior boys’ basketball team just fine.
The junior hoopsters, however, could have done without the slivers of disappointment the court left behind.
A pair of exhibition basketball games meant two separate emotions for the local squads last Tuesday (Jan. 18).
The seniors waltzed their way to a 66-51 victory over the host Lake of the Woods Bears, but the juniors were left frustrated with another loss as Baudette prevailed 48-21.
“The boys played well and moved the ball around really well,” noted senior coach Paul Noonan, whose team led 34-24 at halftime.
“We were pushing near a 20-point lead and the Bears got it back down to eight or nine.
“But they really couldn’t stop Justin,” Noonan added.
That would be ace Muskie scorer Justin Anderson, who ravaged Lake of the Woods for a game-high 26 points.
“He was definitely dominant,” lauded Noonan, who also got a 16-point effort from Caleb McIntosh.
“He was very comfortable out there, and there was a definite disparity in talent between him and the Bears.
“They were a decent team to play against, but our guys came out fired up and took it to them from the opening tip,” Noonan said.
Next up for the seniors after exam break is a four-team, Final Four-type tournament in Roseau, Mn. this Friday and Saturday, where there will be two semi-finals and then a championship final featuring the two semi-final winners.
Noonan has prior commitments, so assistant coaches Ian Simpson and Noonan’s daughter, Sarah, will accompany the team to Roseau.
Meanwhile, the news was less thrilling last Tuesday for the junior Muskies, who have had trouble finding a winning formula so far this season.
“We had an off night,” admitted coach Greg Ste. Croix. “We had lots of turnovers and missed lay-ups.
“[The Bears] really moved the ball quite well. Any time we turned it over, they put points on the board.
“All American schools have incredible fundamentals,” Ste. Croix noted. “They don’t have to be a lot bigger or faster.
“You have to be really well-schooled in the fundamentals or they’ll rip you apart,” he stressed.
Top scorers were not provided as of press time.
Ste. Croix may be looking for answers, but he isn’t questioning his team’s desire.
“The boys worked really, really hard, which is encouraging,” he remarked.
“We get any bit of confidence going, we can still do good things this season.”
The juniors next will play in the Kenora Broncos’ home tournament this Friday and Saturday.