A leg injury never damaged a heart so much.
After starting forward and spiritual leader Danielle McGee suffered a twisted knee Friday, the Muskie senior girls’ basketball team never recovered as the host black-and-gold were swept in best-of-three NWOSSAA final by the Churchill Trojans.
“We lost [the series] yesterday when Danielle went down,” Muskie coach Darren Johnson said after Saturday morning’s 43-22 loss that ended Fort High’s shot at advancing to the all-Ontarios in Windsor starting Thursday.
“It took the wind out of us. We were apprehensive on offence today [Saturday]. There was not a lot of confidence,” he added.
The Muskies were trailing the Trojans just 31-29 with 5:54 to play in Friday’s opener when McGee was hurt while diving for a defensive rebound.
Despite McGee returning to the game for the final three minutes, the black-and-gold were outscored 13-1 after her injury to lose 44-30.
Steph Lockert paced the Trojans with 17 points in that game while Sara Chow added eight. Tricia Smith was the Muskies’ top scorer with 11 points.
McGee didn’t start the second game Saturday morning, coming off the bench with 2:25 left in the opening quarter to try and spark the Muskies’ attack, which was held to just one field goal in the opening quarter in both contests.
But Churchill used its strong transition game to outscore the black-and-gold 13-4 in the second quarter, ruining the party for Johnson and his troops on his birthday.
Lockert had 12 points to lead the Trojans on Saturday while Chow and Allison Pruys chipped in with 11 apiece. Muskie captain Carling Barton, one of eight seniors who played their final game for Fort High, had seven points in a losing cause.
“They had better outside shooters and played good inside defence,” said Barton. “We just couldn’t shoot as well as they could.”