Senior hoopsters win consolation title at tourney

The Muskie senior girls’ basketball team learned a valuable lesson at the Pizza Hut tournament in Thunder Bay last weekend.
Blessed with a very talented squad this year, the Muskies sometimes can get away with playing a mediocre game against weaker teams. But when they’re on the floor against one of the top teams in the area, they’d better be ready.
The black-and-gold were less than ready in their first game Friday afternoon against the powerful Hammarskjold Vikings (Thunder Bay)–and paid the price.
Hammarskjold, which led 18-10 at halftime, limited the Muskie offence to just eight points in the second half–and completely shut down the Muskies’ top scoring threats in guard Sarah Noonan and forward Siobhan Devlin–en route to a lopsided 44-18 victory.
It was a simple case of not being ready to play, Muskie head coach Gord McCabe said.
“We played poorly,” he admitted. “It was a combination of them playing much better [than in our first meeting] and us not playing very well.
“It didn’t seem we were mentally or physically prepared,” he suggested.
Kelly Crawford led the lacklustre Fort attack with six points.
The opening loss dropped the black-and-gold down to the ‘B’-side of a tournament. But they quickly got back on track Saturday, first crushing the Westgate Tigers (Thunder Bay) 50-15 and then downing the Kenora Broncos 38-29 to win the consolation final.
The St. Pat’s Saints (Thunder Bay) went on to win the tournament title with a narrow 44-40 victory over cross-town rivals St. Ignatius. Hammarskjold won the third-place game 47-27 over the Churchill Trojans (Thunder Bay).
While their game against Westgate was no contest right from the start, the Muskies started slowly against Kenora–spotting their NorWOSSA rivals a 6-0 lead early in the game.
But the black-and-gold chipped away and led 18-17 at the half. Then they opened up the game more in the second half and went on a 6-0 run of their own to start the third quarter.
“We wore down their guards and they had a few defensive lapses,” McCabe said of the comeback win.
Noonan, who led all scorers with 21 points in the blowout over Westgate, paced the Muskies with 16 points against Kenora while fellow guard Laureen Cousineau netted eight.
The Muskies resume NorWOSSA action next Tuesday against the host Dryden Eagles.