Senior hoopsters dominate in Dryden

Jamie Mountain

The Muskie senior girls’ basketball team didn’t let a loss the previous day get them down but instead went out and dominated at a one-day exhibition tournament in Dryden on Friday.
After dropping a 51-41 overtime decision to the Eagles in their NorWOSSA season-opener Thursday afternoon here, the Muskies went 4-0 en route to a first-place finish at the tourney–scoring 50-plus points each game.
Head coach Gord McCabe was thrilled with how his players fared in Dryden.
“I thought we executed our fast-break much better over the weekend and rebounded much better, especially on the defensive end,” he noted.
“Sarah Larson, Ellie Petsnick, and Jamie Spencer all were much more physical and that is what we need as our inside game is key to our success.”
The tournament featured hour-long games with a non-stop time clock running.
Half-time ran for two minutes (non-stop) and each team also was able to use a single time-out, with the time-outs needing to be called prior to the final five minutes of the game.
Fort High opened the tourney with a 59-28 thumping of the Kenora Broncos.
Ellie Petsnick had a team-high 16 points in that one while Sarah Larson chipped in with 12.
Jamie Spencer, Janissa Judson, and Grace Petsnick rounded out the offence with six points apiece.
The Muskies didn’t have to wait long to exact revenge as they next faced the host Eagles and this time cruised to a 50-38 victory.
Judson, Larson, and Ellie Petsnick led the way offensively with eight points each.
Grace Petsnick and Spencer both netted four while Simone Payne sank a huge three-pointer.
“I was really pleased with our performance at the Dryden tournament, especially our game against Dryden,” said McCabe.
“We played really good defence, with the exception of our last game against Ignace.
“But I write that off to the girls being pretty tired and it is hard to stay intense when you have a big lead,” he reasoned.
“I also thought our offence was pretty consistent,” McCabe added. “When you score 50 or more points in all four games, a coach can’t ask for much more than that.”
In their third game Friday, Ellie Petsnick tallied a game-high 14 points to pace the Muskies to a 58-26 romp over the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora).
Larson and Grace Petsnick each added 10 points while Hailie Beasant, Spencer, and Carmen Hebert all chipped in with four.
Fort High then wrapped up tourney play with a 76-42 victory versus Ignace.
Judson, Ellie Petsnick, and Grace Petsnick all netted 14 points to lead the Muskies while Spencer, Rachel Anderson, and Larson added six each.
“We still need a lot of work on the rotations when we are playing zone defence,” McCabe conceded.
“We also missed far too many easy shots, including a lot of wide-open lay-ups, and that is just lack of concentration.
“We’ll fix that,” he vowed.
As for their NorWOSSA opener against the visiting Eagles last Thursday afternoon, the Muskies definitely let one slip away.
The black-and-gold held the Eagles to just 12 points in the first half, leading them 22-12 at the half, but then couldn’t fend them off in the second half.
Dryden scored 26 points after that to pull out a 51-41 win.
McCabe chalked up the loss to a variety of factors.
“We definitely let one get away from us in the loss to Dryden,” he remarked.
“The biggest single factor in that game was foul trouble,” he noted. “We lost Ellie Petsnick early in the fourth quarter and Grace Petsnick with about five minutes left.
“We need to know when to take a chance that might result in a foul and when to be conservative,” McCabe stressed.
“Although you never like to lose a game, at least we learned this lesson early in the season,” he reasoned.
“However, we were up by 10 points at halftime and if we’d come out with more intensity at the start of the third quarter, the game never would have been that close.”
The Muskies were back in NorWOSSA action yesterday in Kenora, with the outcome not known as of press time.
McCabe knew his squad would face a good challenge from the Broncos–a team he referred to as “young and scrappy.”
“They don’t have much height so I expect them to use a lot of pressure defence,” he mused.
“I think the key to success against them will be breaking their press for some easy baskets, getting the ball inside to utilize our size advantage, and most importantly not getting outworked,” McCabe said.