Senior spikers take positives from Dryden tourney

Dan Falloon

The scoresheet doesn’t always show everything as the Muskie senior girls’ basketball team learned at a tournament in Dryden over the weekend.
Although the black-and-gold finished with a 1-2 record, head coach Ian Simpson noted the two losses were to the top teams in Thunder Bay—St. Ignatius and Hammarskjold.
The Muskies opened play Friday with a 41-23 loss to St. Ignatius. They were done in by a rough second half after trailing only 25-17 at the break.
“We played well considering it was a team of that calibre,” enthused Simpson.
“They [St. Ignatius] play at a high level of intensity,” he added.
The Muskies righted the ship Saturday morning, dumping St. Thomas Aquinas (Kenora) by a 46-12 margin.
Simpson was thrilled to see balanced scoring from his team, with eight of 10 players registering at least a point.
Topping that list was Erika Moffitt’s 10 points, followed by Chelsea Hill and Morgan Krueger (eight each).
After playing well for most of their first two games, Simpson was a little let down by the Muskies’ second game Saturday—a 40-19 shellacking at the hands of Hammarskjold.
“I don’t think we played quite as well in that game,” Simpson acknowledged. “We were just a little bit too slow.”
Still, Simpson was pleased with the opportunity to use the Lakehead teams as a reflection of where the Muskies want to be, and where they must improve in order to get there.
“Overall, in terms of the weekend, I was quite pleased with the way everybody played,” he remarked.
“It gives us quite a clear indication of what we need to work on.”
The biggest target for improvement is in the team’s “basic fundamentals,” according to Simpson. Passing and ball possession are two areas of concern he said the Muskies must tighten up.
“We had a lot of turnovers,” he admitted. “We just need to work on catching the ball and going straight up the court.”
However, Simpson otherwise is encouraged by his squad’s offensive play, noting they’re “playing better offence than we have in years.”
“We have rebounded well, and we’ve been able to shoot the ball well,” he lauded.
Simpson said teams on the losing end early in the season tend to have some more upside than winning ones, and hopes to surprise the Thunder Bay squads later in the season.
Meanwhile, in NorWOSSA action here yesterday, the senior girls improved to 3-0 after downing Dryden 36-11.
Mary Strain led the way with seven points while Emily Drouin and Moffitt each netted six.
The squad was coming off a 34-15 romp last Wednesday in Kenora, having led 27-4 after three quarters.
Hill netted 11 points for the Muskies in that one while Moffitt chipped in nine.
In all, seven different players got on the scoresheet.
The Muskie junior girls, meanwhile, improved to 2-1 on the season after rallying for a 23-15 win over visiting Dryden yesterday.
Alanna Walsh’s six points led the black-and-gold.
That win came on the heels of a 27-19 victory in Kenora last Wednesday.
The Muskies were less fortunate on the volleyball court yesterday, with the senior boys falling to 1-2 after dropping a 3-1 decision to the visiting Eagles.
The squad had earned its first win last Wednesday with a hard-fought, five-set victory over the host Broncos.
Fort High took the first two sets by scores of 25-22 and 25-23, then dropped the next two 25-23 and 25-20.
But the black-and-gold bounced back in the deciding set, cruising to a 15-7 win.
The junior boys (2-1), meanwhile, suffered their first defeat of the season, falling 27-25, 25-19 and 25-23 to Dryden here yesterday.
The team was coming off a five-set nail-biter in Kenora last Wednesday.
Fort High dropped the opening set 29-27, but surged ahead with 25-15 and 25-18 wins in the next two.
After the Broncos forced a final set with a 25-15 win, the Muskies took the tie-breaker 15-7.