The Muskie junior girls’ basketball team continued their fine play this season with a second-place showing at their home tournament, which wrapped up Saturday.
The black-and-gold won their opening two games—30-19 over St. Patrick’s and then a 45-5 romp versus Superior—but then fell 22-19 to Hammarskjold in the final.
“We had a great weekend, and had a great chance to win our tournament,” Muskie coach Dan Bird noted.
“We came up with a game plan to best control the pace of the game, and eliminate as best we could their two dominant forwards, and [we] did that for the majority of the game,” Bird said of Saturday’s clash with Hammarskjold.
“We did a great job controlling the boards and getting the ball to our guards,” he added.
“They got on the board first and we responded quickly to take over the lead and never gave that up until the final two minutes, when their big players stepped up and got the key baskets down the stretch.”
Bird said Chantal Jodoin, Erika Moffitt, and Chelsea Audette did a great job boxing out Hammarskjold’s big forwards and forcing them to take longer shots than normal.
Guards Mary Strain, Emily Drouin, Alyssa Caul, and Adriane Gurski also did their best in controlling the perimeter and forcing turnovers.
The Muskies opened tournament play Thursday with a sound 30-19 win over St. Patrick’s (Thunder Bay).
The black-and-gold held a commanding 15-4 lead at the half before a 13-point run in the third quarter by the visitors made things interesting.
But Fort High outscored St. Patrick’s 9-2 in the final quarter to ice the win.
Moffitt had eight points to pace the Muskies while Audette and Gurski added six points each.
Jessica Mithrush led St. Patrick’s with a game-high 13 points.
In their second game Friday against Superior, the Muskies dominated right from the opening whistle in a 45-5 blowout.
“We were able to substitute freely and get everyone some significant playing time,” Bird noted.
In other Muskie news, the junior boys’ volleyball team faltered in their final match at a tournament hosted by Lakehead University and had to settle for silver.
Fort High beat the La Verendrye Vipers (25-13/25-19), Manitouwadge Wolverines (25-21/25-15), Churchill Trojans (25-23/27-25), Superior Gryphons (25-11/15-18), and Westgate Tigers (25-8/26-24) in the round-robin.
Several Muskie players came down with a ’flu bug as the weekend wore on, but the black-and-gold still took out Geraldton in straight sets in the semi-finals by scores of 25-16 and 25-9.
Then in the final versus Manitouwadge, the Muskies opened the match with a 25-15 win.
The boys fell behind in the second set, battled back to knot it 24-24, but dropped the final two points to send it to a third-and-deciding set, in which Manitouwadge prevailed 15-12 to claim the gold medal.
“The boys went back to hitting in the final set, but the balls kept going out and we gave them the final set,” junior coach Duane Roen lamented.
The Muskie senior boys’ volleyball team, meanwhile, also participated in a tournament over the weekend, coming up with their best stretch of games so far at the Dryden Invitational.
The seniors—winless in NorWOSSA play so far—went 6-4 in the round-robin to finish third in their pool.
Then they knocked out both Queen Elizabeth and Westgate in straight sets in the playoffs before being eliminated by the Kenora Broncos in the semi-finals.