Senior hoopsters rally to buck Broncos

The Muskie senior boys’ basketball team brushed off a sluggish start against the Kenora Broncos in the NorWOSSA final there Friday, running away with a strong third quarter en route to a 54-44 win.
The win marked the Muskies’ third-straight league title.
The black-and-gold were back on their heels in the first half thanks to sharp shooting by Kris St. Clair, Travis Young, and Graeme Affleck that staked the Broncos to a 27-19 lead.
But a Jock Gemmell lay-up and back-to-back three pointers by Travis Derkson and Kevin Gemmell cut that gap to 29-27 at halftime. Then it was all Muskies after the break, going on a 15-4 run to grab the lead for good.
Jock Gemmell took it past Eric Morris to give the black-and-gold their first lead—32-31—since the opening minutes of the game. He also scored the last five points of the third quarter to extend the lead to 42-34.
St. Clair and Affleck opened the fourth with buckets to bring it to 42-38, but the Muskies took advantage of Bronco foul trouble as Kevin and Jock Gemmell both hit key free throws down the stretch.
Kenora cut the lead to 47-44 with three minutes to play, but Voung Pham broke the Broncos’ half-court press twice to find Derkson under the basket to ice the game.
“Once we switched to man defence, we pretty much shut them down,” said Noonan, who said his defence concentrated on Morris inside. “They were hot in the first half, we were hot in the second half.”
Broncos head coach Scott Sparkman said his guards fell in love with the long-distance shot.
“We have a reasonably strong perimeter team, but we like to get the ball into Morris,” he noted. “We took some silly fouls and they just pulled away.
“We came to close, it’s just we weren’t able to catch them.”
Jock Gemmell led the Muskies with 17 points while Jamie Algie scored 16. Derkson added 11 and Kevin Gemmell 10. St. Clair netted 12 to lead the Broncos.
“Jock and Jamie were huge,” said Noonan. “They put their whole heart into that game.”
Sparkman agreed, adding the Muskie made more of a rebounding effort than his team.
“They got to the glass all the time. We gave up about 15 to 18 second-chance points,” he said. “You can’t give those up and still expect to win.”
The Broncos, who went 5-3 in regular-season play, previously had been the kings of NorWOSSA, winning six-straight titles before the Muskies’ current run of three.