The Muskie senior boys’ basketball team controlled almost the entire game against the Kenora Broncos here yesterday afternoon.
Unfortunately, the visitors controlled the final two minutes, which proved to be the difference in a 47-40 comeback win over the black-and-gold.
The Muskies stormed out to a 15-7 lead in the first quarter. But the offence went cold in the second quarter—scoring a season-low four points—to allow the Broncos back into the game.
Still, despite the lackluster second quarter, the Muskies led until late in the fourth when the Broncos sank their shots while the Muskies committed several key turnovers.
Combined with the turnovers, the Muskie collapse was compounded when they were called for travelling and a double-dribble in the final minute.
Trailing 41-40, Andrew Perron gave the Broncos the lead for good when his three-pointer from the right corner connected with 1:20 left in the game.
The Broncos iced the game with an easy layup and a pair of free throws.
“Turnovers were the difference," Muskie co-coach Al McManaman said after the game. "We got caught for travelling down the stretch, and we were just trying to make plays too quickly.”
Co-coach Paul Noonan noted the Muskies had trouble adjusting to Kenora’s “pressure-zone” defence, which created havoc with their offence.
“They played an aggressive defence on us, and we spent too much time dribbling and watching the game,” said Noonan.
Still, the Muskies played well on defence, limiting Kenora’s offence and creating their share of turnovers.
“The defence played well and our full-court press created turnovers for us again,” stressed Noonan.
Chris Wiedenhoeft and Terry LaBelle led the Muskies, who fell to 2-1 with the loss, with nine points each. Bryce Coyle added eight.
Kevin Fregeau scored a game-high 14 points for Kenora.
Meanwhile, the Muskie junior boys put on an offensive display in their game against Kenora, manhandling the visiting Broncos 81-54 to improve their NorWOSSA record to 3-0.
It was another impressive offensive effort from the junior boys, who have reeled off three consecutive lopsided victories.
John Sivonen led all scorers with 29 points.
“John continues to play very well for us," said head coach Claude Gagnon. "He made a lot of layups by going hard to the basket, and he made his free throws.”
Gagnon said point guard Gary Wager also had an “outstanding” game, dishing the ball off to Sivonen on several occasions and also scoring 19 points of his own.
Evan Woodland was another top scorer with 17.
Gagnon said the team continues to benefit from the solid play from both veterans and rookies, whom he said “continue to improve” as they get deeper into the season.
Both teams hit the court again tomorrow when they host the Dryden Eagles.