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Senior hoopsters looking to push pace

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The Muskie senior boys' basketball team's aim is to get better each and every time out on the court.

So far, so good.

The black-and-gold compiled a 3-1 record en route to snaring the bronze medal at the Falcon Invitational tournament over the weekend in Thunder Bay.

“We played really well on the defensive end of the court for all our wins,” Muskie co-coach Greg Ste. Croix lauded.

“Kobi Ward had a strong weekend [and] Wyatt Richards had a monster game versus Sioux Lookout,” he noted.

Ward also was named to the tourney all-star team for his stalwart play.

While happy with his squad's effort, Ste. Croix stressed the importance of pushing the pace at both ends of the floor heading into yesterday's match here against the Dryden Eagles (the outcome wasn't known as of press time).

“I'm more concerned about our players developing to their fullest potential and becoming more consistent every time we play,” he noted.

The Muskies, sporting a 4-1 record in league play to sit atop the three-team standings, then will cap the week by hosting the Kenora Broncos tomorrow afternoon at the “Fish Tank.”

As for the weekend tournament, the Muskies opened play Friday with a 59-37 win over the Hammarskjold Vikings before downing the Sioux Lookout Warriors 61-48.

It was a different story in the semi-finals Saturday afternoon, though, as the Muskies fell 77-53 to host St. Ignatius.

“They [the Falcons] played really well and we were not on the same level as the game versus Sioux Lookout,” Ste. Croix noted.

But the Muskies rebounded in a big way later Saturday with a 71-46 win over the Westgate Tigers in the bronze-medal game.

The Falcons won gold with a 61-35 rout of ESC Theriault.

“We played really well and by the second half, we were playing as well as the Sioux Lookout game or better,” Ste. Croix enthused.

The Muskies had gone into the tournament fresh off a 95-51 rout of the host Broncos in NorWOSSA play last Tuesday.

Ward scored a team-high 26 points in that one while Ben Smith and Sean Huziak each netted 12.

“We played a strong game in Kenora once we shook off the rust from the break,” Ste. Croix recalled.

“Our transition defence to offence was exceptional.”

As for the junior Muskies, they went 0-3 record at the Falcon Invitational.

They opened play Friday with a 48-34 loss to the St. Patrick Saints, which dropped them to the 'B' consolation side of the bracket.

The Muskies then fell 39-27 by the Superior Gryphons later Friday before ending tourney play Saturday morning with a 61-44 loss to the Blaze U13s.

“We were clearly the better team but couldn't finish under the basket,” Muskie co-coach Nicole Clark said of the loss to the Gryphons.

"The boys are playing well as a team and understand this is good practice for our NorWOSSA games.

“Regardless of the score, [the] boys are playing well, especially with a small bench,” Clark added.

“I'm a very proud coach.”

The Muskies were coming off a 63-46 loss to the host Broncos last Tuesday that saw their league record fall to 1-4.

Santino Smith scored a team-high 13 points in that one while Jordon Bazylewski added 12.

The juniors also hosted Dryden yesterday afternoon, with the outcome not known as of press time.

Then they'll host the first-place Broncos tomorrow afternoon before capping the week with a tournament in Kenora on Friday and Saturday.

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