The Muskie junior girls’ basketball team opened their NorWOSSA season on a winning note Tuesday by beating the host Dryden Eagles 26-16.
Chelsea Hill led the way with 12 points but co-coach Dan Bird said the play in their own end was huge.
“It was another great defensive effort by the team,” he enthused. “We shut down their strength, which I think is their forward scoring, and forced the outside shots.
“With defence first and keeping that goal, I think we can only improve in all areas including offence,” Bird added.
The junior squad was coming off three-straight wins at a pre-season tournament in Dryden over the weekend, where they beat Sioux Lookout 30-15, Red Lake 37-10, and Whitefish Bay 45-8.
Bird again credited the defence for its fine play in the lopsided victories.
“It was the defensive play that defined the weekend for the Muskies,” Bird praised in an e-mail to the Times. “The whole team made significant and key defensive plays, which led to scoring.
The coaches were particularly impressed with the first-year players, he added.
“Bench play will be the key to a solid season and any chance at championship play.”
Meanwhile, the news wasn’t as good for the other three Muskie court teams in Dryden on Tuesday. The senior girls’ basketball squad fell 33-21 to the host Eagles while the senior boys’ volleyball team were swept in straight sets.
The junior boys’ volleyball squad fared somewhat better, taking the Eagles to a fifth-and-deciding set before losing the match.
All four teams hold their home-openers today against the Kenora Broncos, with action starting at 3:30 p.m. in both the large and small gyms.