Size overcomes talent as hoopsters lose first game

In a battle of contrasting styles, last Thursday’s senior basketball showdown between the Muskies and visiting Kenora Broncos quickly became a battle of size underneath versus speed on the floor.
The Muskies once again showcased their talented run-and-gun style of offence that is entertaining to watch against Kenora’s one-man show in Brody Tegg.
Tegg was virtually unstoppable as he netted 24 points against the black-and-gold, using his size to dominate the much smaller Muskies on the boards and converting lay-up after lay-up.
The Muskies countered with the spectacular play of first-year senior player John Sivonen, who scored a game-high 29 points. But it was Kenora who used Tegg–and an 11-0 run in the first 2:16 of action–to cruise to a thrilling 78-67 victory.
Actually, the Muskies didn’t look anything like the team that dominated the Dryden Eagles 92-46 up there just two days before to open the season, coughing up the ball several times and appearing out of sync on both offence and defence.
“Kenora came out and pressured the ball more than we’re used to seeing. They play the ball tight,” Sivonen said of their slow start.
“And with [Tegg], we’re going to have to let the defence collapse on him because I don’t think he can handle the pressure,” he added. “He picks up a lot of offensive fouls by trying to do things himself.”
Still, after trailing 18-6 with 2:24 left in the first quarter, the Muskies did put their game in high gear to close the gap to 21-17 by the buzzer–and actually took a slim 24-23 lead midway through the second.
Then with Kenora leading 33-31 at half-time, both teams went on an offensive tear late in the third quarter. But as hot as the Muskies were during that stretch, their shooting suddenly cooled off in the fourth as the Broncos closed out the game with a 21-13 run, largely due to some strong outside shooting.
< *c>Juniors unbeaten
In junior action, the Muskies improved their record to 2-0 in an exciting 41-38 win over the visiting Broncos last Thursday afternoon.
The black-and-gold led 21-20 at the half, then increased that margin to six with just over a minute to play before Kenora fought back to pull within a basket in the waning seconds.
“We should have spread the floor a bit more at the end. We weren’t really used to playing in that type of situation with a late-game lead,” co-coach Ian Simpson admitted. “[But] the guys played real tough on ‘D’ and worked hard on getting rebounds.
“It was another really good effort. The guys showed a lot of heart and ability,” he enthused.
The Muskies were led by Roy Tighe’s 11 points while point guard Josh McMahon, who also had a strong game moving the ball up the floor, added nine. And Jamie Algie was steady at the free-throw line, nailing six of eight foul shots.
“That’s where games are won or lost. It’s critical to make the shots from the free-throw line,” Simpson stressed.