The Muskie junior and senior boys' basketball teams are aiming to get better each and every game they play and so far both squads have enjoyed success more often than not this season.
The juniors rebounded from their first loss of the season, a 49-41 setback to the host Dryden Eagles back on Jan. 9, with a solid 46-38 win over the visiting Kenora Broncos last Thursday afternoon.
The win improved the Muskies' NorWOSSA record to 4-1 and Muskie coach Corey Smith cited team play as a big key to Thursday's victory at Fort High.
“I like how we played as a team and everyone got some minutes,” he enthused.
“All of the boys have improved so much and we don't necessarily have any starters anymore. Everyone steps up in different games and in different situations. The scoring was even across the board.”
Brennan Jourdain led the way offensively with a nine-point performance while Ashton Barnes and Ethan Barker both chipped in with six points each for the Muskies, who led 25-19 at halftime.
Andros Bruyere netted five points, with Kade Oster and Christian Armstrong both notching four each.
Noah McPherson also sank a three-pointer to round out the offence.
“Defence. Our man-to-man defence was pretty slow and the boys weren't moving their feet,” is what Smith cited as an area which his squad could have been better in last Thursday.
“It's always nice to get another win. We are starting to work on a few different schemes to show the teams something new come playoffs.”
Smith also said that injuries have been an issue for the team of late and is something they are steadily trying to overcome.
“We just got an important piece back and lost another player to a hockey injury,” he revealed.
"We have played well thus far and rolled with the punches. We hope to come out on top at the end [of the NorWOSSA playoffs].
Seniors keep rolling
As for the Muskie seniors, they ran their league record to a NorWOSSA-best 5-0 with a 58-40 romp over the Broncos last Thursday.
Wyatt Richards led all scorers with 16 points in the win for the Muskies while Caleb Allan chipped in with eight.
“I liked the way our bench came in and really competed on both ends of the floor,” Muskie co-coach Greg Ste. Croix lauded.
“At times we found our rhythm. The game was choppy from a number of missed open layups and shots, to players not picking up their checks as early as we want. "We can be better,” he stressed.
Sean Huziak netted seven points, with Mike Vanderaa and William Richards both adding six each against the Broncos.
Garrett Hyatt and Braydon Christiansen each notched three points while Santino Smith and Brett Schram both scored a basket to round out the offence for the Muskies.
“We were looking for a complete game from everyone and we didn't get that,” Ste. Croix admitted.
"Now in saying that, Caleb Allan had a very good game. The season thus far has been good.
“[The other] weekend in Thunder Bay showed that we are capable of competing with teams at a high level,” he reasoned.
“They are taking notice. Down the stretch, we are looking at getting better every day.”
Due to exams, neither Muskie basketball teams will resume NorWOSSA play until Wednesday, Feb. 5 when they take on the host Sioux Lookout Warriors.