The defence has been solid all season and Gord McCabe is hopeful that trend will continue for the Muskie junior girls' basketball team as it winds down the NorWOSSA regular season over the next few weeks.
The Muskies improved their league record to 6-1 with a 44-19 win over the Broncos in Kenora last Wednesday, in which the Muskie coach lauded the defensive play of his squad.
It was a rebound performance for the black-and-gold, which suffered its first loss of the season to the visiting Eagles back on Oct. 8 by a 26-18 margin.
“We really got back on track. The return of Tatum Glowasky gave us a big lift as we were now able to apply our pressure defence with two balanced lines,” noted McCabe on Thursday.
“We scored 14 points in the first quarter after only scoring 18 points in the entire game against Dryden. We also calmed down and took the extra second to take a good shot rather than throwing the ball wildly in the direction of the basket, which we did far too often against Dryden.”
Tatum Glowasky netted a team-high 11 points to pace the Muskies to the win over the Broncos, who fell to 1-5.
Fort High also swept the season series 3-0.
Ayiana Gagne potted 10 points, while Heaven States chipped in with nine and Joyce Wu had six.
Emma Yerxa added four points while Emily Fitzgerald and Tierney Rousseau notched a basket each to round out the offence.
“We have a group of girls who really don't care who scores as long as the team does well,” McCabe enthused.
“They are unselfish and, given the way we play, that will be key to our success as we are always looking for the open cutter in our offence.”
McCabe also said that he has been pleased by his team's defence all season and conceded that they are going to give up the odd easy basket when the other team beats their pressure, but they can live with that.
“What we have to do is make sure we don't give up too many open shots when we are in our half court defence,” he stressed.
"We had a couple of breakdowns against the Broncos but that is to be expected at this age.
“Overall, though, the key to good defence is hard work and every single one of our players is working hard,” he lauded.
The Muskies were slated to resume NorWOSSA action this afternoon when they hosted the Eagles (6-1) for the final time in the regular season.
Both teams have an identical record, making it a crucial game as the black-and-gold's aspiration is to finish first to avoid having to play a playoff semifinal.
The game will also decide who wins the season series, as both teams are 1-1 against each other.
Fort High then will conclude the regular season at home next Tuesday (Oct. 29) when they welcome the winless Warriors (0-6) to the “Fish Tank”.
“We will have to be at our very best against Dryden, the winner of this game finishes first in the regular season,” McCabe reasoned.
"We have played them three times this year and they have won two of the three. It is our speed against their size and it makes for a fun matchup.
“Sioux Lookout's junior team has really been coming on,” he praised of the Warriors.
"They have played us tough both times we have played them and they only lost to Dryden by two points in Dryden yesterday, so they cannot be taken for granted.
“They have yet to win a game but I am not going to be at all surprised if they end off beating Beaver Brae twice and make the playoffs,” McCabe added.
“They had to cancel a game last week, so they still have two games with Beaver Brae. It should be very interesting to see who finishes third.”