Senior hoopsters place fourth at Kenora tourney

The Muskie senior boys’ basketball team lost a dramatic 66-63 overtime decision to Hillcrest (Thunder Bay) in the third-place game of the 25th-annual Kenora Invitational Tournament last weekend.
The Muskies led 34-29 at the half, and stretched the gap to 49-39 after three quarters. But Hillcrest suddenly found their scoring touch down the stretch–especially from behind the three-point line.
“Their outside shooters, which weren’t hitting at the start of the game, got hot at the end,” assistant coach Paul Noonan said. “They hit six threes in the fourth quarter and the overtime.
“But it was an exciting game and the fans were really into it,” he enthused.
Although Noonan said he was happy with how his team played in their three games at Kenora, he did express concern with their lack of offence.
“We still have to score more. Scoring [50] points [a game] won’t do it,” he stressed.
Mike Noonan, who played an aggressive defensive game and scored 10 points, was named the game MVP for the Muskies against Hillcrest.
Brian Kosowick, who was named to the tournament all-star team, led the black-and-gold with 16 points in the loss while Casey Anderson added eight.
The Muskies were dropped to the third-place game after losing 52-44 to host Kenora. They jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead to start the game but went cold after that, allowing the Broncos to battle back to lead 26-20 at halftime.
Kosowick paced the team with 17 points. Terry LaBelle added 10 while Chris Wiedenhoeft netted seven.
The Muskies opened the eight-team tournament with a 45-36 win over Churchill (Thunder Bay) led by LaBelle’s team-high 10 points. Chad Avis added nine while Wiedenhoeft netted eight.
Miles MacDonnell Collegiate (Winnipeg) won the tournament with a 53-25 victory over the host Broncos in the final.
In junior boys’ action, the Muskies cruised to a 66-33 victory over the Dryden Eagles in the championship final of a tournament in Ignace.
Muskie forward John Sivonen was named the tournament MVP, averaging 33 points a game as the Muskies cruised to four-straight lopsided wins.
“John played very well defensively [and] offensively,” head coach Claude Gagnon said. “He was fantastic.”
Gagnon said his team saved their best defensive game for the final against Dryden, particularly rookie Jamie Algie, who was a defensive force all weekend.
Still, the Muskie offence was nearly unstoppable as they continue to get double-digit scoring from key several players.
Evan Woodland also had a big offensive weekend for the black-and-gold, averaging 17 points per game, while Gary Wager averaged 11.
The black-and-gold opened the tourney with a 105-20 win over Sioux Lookout and then pounded Red Lake 91-45. But their biggest victory was against Atikokan when they came back to win 77-57 after trailing by seven points by halftime.
Gagnon said he was impressed with his team’s effort in the four games, especially since it was their first tournament of the season.
“We learned that we are a very good team [but] we still have a lot to learn,” he noted.
The junior Muskies’ next tournament action will be this weekend in Kenora, where Gagnon expects the competition to be much stronger.