The Muskie senior girls’ basketball team reeled off four-straight wins, including a 55-37 victory over host Sioux Lookout in the final round-robin game, to win the championship of a tournament there last weekend.
After opening the tournament with a close 34-31 win over Ignace, the black-and-gold went on to beat Atikokan 54-44 and then Rainy River 40-22.
Muskie co-coach Gord McCabe said the tourney victory had a two-pronged affect on his team.
While the four-game sweep against ‘A’ opponents instilled some much-needed confidence, it also gave McCabe a chance to “open up his bench” so many of his backup players could get some court time.
“I really thought we’d do well in the tournament," he admitted. "But we didn’t go there to blow anyone out.”
McCabe said his team jumped out to sizable leads in all four games with their starters controlling the play, but then those leads dwindled when many of their backup players saw more playing time.
“We’d open up the score, then put in our other players so everybody got a chance to play," he noted. "We’re not a machine in that we can’t play our backups and not miss a beat.”
One player who didn’t miss a beat was veteran forward Hannah Carter, who poured in a tournament-high 22 points in the final win over Sioux Lookout.
With Fort High sporting a perfect 3-0 record and the Warriors in second at 2-1, the Muskies had to beat their hosts in order to claim the gold.
A loss would have left both teams in a tie for first with 3-1 marks but Sioux Lookout would have won the tie-breaker based on their win over the Muskies.
But the Muskies jumped all over the Warriors early in the finale, sprinting out to a commanding 20-7 first-quarter lead, then increased that to 17 points (34-17) by halftime.
McCabe said Carter, who replaced Veronica Meyers at the inside position, took advantage of the much smaller Warrior lineup underneath the basket.
He noted Karen Harris also was a dominant force for the Muskies with 19 points.