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Sr. hoopsters nab silver in Thunder Bay

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It was a great weekend for the Muskie senior boys' basketball team as they finished with a silver medal at the annual Falcon Invitational Tournament held in Thunder Bay on Friday and Saturday.

The black-and-gold opened play on Friday with a 57-47 win over the Hammarskjold Vikings.

The Muskies then dumped the St. Patrick Saints in the semifinals on Saturday, putting them into the championship game against the host St. Ignatius Falcons later that day.

But Fort High saw it's winning ways come to an end as they had to settle for silver with a 70-22 loss in the Gold-Medal Game.

Muskies Sean Huziak and Wyatt Richards both were named to the tournament's all-star team for their stellar play over the weekend.

The Muskie juniors also competed at the tourney, coming away with a 2-1 record to finish in seventh place.

The black-and-gold opened tourney play on Friday evening with a 33-30 win over Dennis Franklin Cromarty and followed that up with a 37-32 loss to the Saints on Saturday morning to finish Pool 'D' play in second place with a 1-1 record.

But the Muskies rebounded in a big way later in the day to finish the tourney with a win in a 70-20 rout of the La Verendrye Vipers.

Both Muskie basketball teams had gone into the Falcon Invitational fresh off of mixed results in NorWOSSA league play against the host Dryden Eagles last Thursday.

The senior squad improved to a league-best 4-0 with a 61-35 rout of the Eagles on the back of Mike Vanderaa's 16-point performance.

Richards chipped in with 14 points while Dominic States scored 12 while and Huziak added 10.

It was a different story for the juniors, however, as they suffered their first loss of the season in dropping a 49-41 decision to see their league record fall to 3-1.

In girls' volleyball action last Thursday, meanwhile, the Muskie seniors also improved to a league-best 4-0 with a 2-1 win over the Eagles.

The set scores were 25-22, 18-25, and 25-23.

“Many of our players were, and are, battling the flu which made it difficult in Dryden Thursday,” Muskie coach Duane Roen admitted.

"We controlled most of the first set but struggled to run our offensive plays. In the second set, we struggled with our serve receive and could not pass close enough to the setter to run much of an offense again.

“As we gave Dryden many free balls, they were able to execute better than we could,” he reasoned.

“We regrouped in the third set and began to pull away, leading 22-16 at one point. Dryden fought back to take the lead 23-22 but we were able to squeak out a 25-23 win.”

Roen also noted that the Muskies' communication is still poor and they “need to read and react better in all aspects of the game.”

“We are lucky that we have enough skill on our team that other players had to, and did, step up when needed,” he recalled.

“Honestly, it was not a spectacular match for our group as we seemed to be just going through the motions.”

As for the juniors, they saw their league record fall to 3-1 as they were swept 2-0 by the host Eagles.

The set scores were 25-16 and 25-15.

“It is still our goal to try and win a NorWOSSA championship,” said Muskie co-coach Bob Kowal, who was unable to make the trip with the team last Thursday while fellow co-coach Bill Daley guided the ship in Dryden.

"If we are able to beat Dryden and not have other losses, we'll still be able to secure first place.

“However, we really need to improve our first ball-passing and some athletes need to be more consistent with their serving,” he stressed.

“They are capable but at some point, you need to perform during the game. It will be an exciting finish for sure.”

All four Muskie court sports teams are slated to resume NorWOSSA action tomorrow when they welcome the Kenora Broncos to Fort High.

The first games are set to start at 4 p.m. at the “Fish Tank”.

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