The Muskie junior and senior girls' basketball teams capped off the NorWOSSA regular season strong with blowout wins against the visiting Sioux Lookout Warriors last Tuesday and now have their sights set on the playoffs.
The Dryden Eagles are playing host this Friday and both Muskie squads will be gunning for NorWOSSA gold.
The junior squad got a 16-point performance from Heaven States while Tatum Glowasky chipped in with 13 points to pull out a convincing 62-27 victory to finish the season with an 8-1 record and nabbed a first-place bye to the final.
Fort High will face the semifinal winner between the second-ranked host Eagles and the third-place Kenora Broncos at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
“It is nice to have bye, but sometimes it is more advantageous to be in second place because you get all the nervousness out and you get rid of bus/bleacher legs during the first game,” Muskie assistant coach Angela Petsnick noted on Saturday.
"This week we took it easy. The season is quick, but the girls have worked so hard.
“We scrimmaged with the seniors this week and had a little bit of fun,” she revealed.
“Next week we will get back to work, specifically on defence.”
Ayiana Gagne and Serena Teeple both scored eight points, while Grace Smith had six and Anna Gagne added four for the Muskies in their regular season-ending home win over the Warriors (1-8) last Tuesday.
Emma Yerxa and Tierney Rousseau both added a basket while Emily Fitzgerald notched a single off a free-throw to round out the offence for the black-and-gold.
“The girls played a fast paced game, they controlled the ball well and I was able to play the entire team in shifts of two minutes each,” Petsnick recalled.
“Everyone was playing as hard as they could and giving 100 percent.”
Senior girls' team
As for the Muskie seniors, they also finished with an 8-1 record and a bye to this Friday's NorWOSSA final with a 59-22 romp over the Warriors (0-9).
Each Muskie player got at least a basket in the lopsided win, with Grace Petsnick leading the way with a 12-point performance.
Janissa Judson had eight points and Simone Payne and Alina Eldridge both chipped in with six for the Muskies, who led 41-16 after three quarters.
Jamie Spencer potted five points, while Keisha DeBungie, Joanna Empey, and Becca Jourdain all had four apiece.
Aurora Hutton and Bella Ward both recorded three points while Carmen Hebert and Rachel Anderson both added a basket to round out the offence.
The Muskies now will face the winner of the semifinal between the second-ranked host Eagles and third-place Broncos in the championship game at 7:15 p.m. on Friday evening.
“As I was taking stats, I noticed in the last quarter that almost all players had made at least one basket,” said Pestnick.
"Bella, who is a solid player both on offence and defence, had not made a basket yet. I informed the team that she had to make a basket in that quarter.
“She drove and was fouled, and sunk one of the fouls shots,” she enthused.
“Then she ended up getting a second basket as well. The girls are so encouraging of each other that they jumped off the bench and cheered for her.”
Petsnick also noted that it was the final home game for many of the seniors in their high school career, which makes it bittersweet.
“Bitter sweet, especially for me because I started coaching many of these girls in Grade 7 at J.W. Walker School,” she remarked.
NWOSSAA is slated for Nov. 15-16, with OFSAA to follow on Nov. 21-23 in Kingsville.