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Owls' hoops squads stumble at home


The Rainy River Owls' junior and senior boys' basketball teams will be hoping the second half of their seasons brings better fortunes.

Both squads dropped their games last Tuesday and Wednesday against the visiting Red Lake Rams and Sioux Lookout Warriors in NorWOSSA 'A' action.

The juniors (1-3) first fell 39-26 to the Rams before following that up with a 54-33 loss to the Warriors the next day.

“In both games we were outplayed in three of the four quarters,” Owls' head coach Kevin Gemmell conceded.

“As a team, we need to focus on playing a complete game and remaining focused on our goals that will help us compete,” he stressed.

Gemmell added the notable standouts against the Rams and Warriors included Walid Quran, who was the top scorer in both games.

“We also have a few starting Grade 9s that are developing quite nicely, especially Tyson Maki, who has a big challenge as a freshman point guard,” he remarked.

“He has shown flashes of brilliance and I have been quite pleased with his acceptance to learn and execute.”

The Owls don't resume NorWOSSA action until Jan. 9-10 when they host the Pelican Falls Wolverines and St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora).

Gemmell stressed the importance of his squad locking down their fundamentals in order to have success moving forward.

“I think we have shown promise and we should continue focusing on our fundamentals to ensure we have the tools necessary to thrive at a senior level,” he said.

“I'm confident that our last part of the season will be our strongest!”

The seniors Owl (1-3) dropped a 43-34 decision to the Rams before being dumped 69-49 by the Warriors.

Nick Vogan led the way with a team-high 25 points while Morgan Desserre added 12 in the loss to Sioux Lookout.

“We played as a team and played great defence,” noted Owls' head coach Corey Smith.

"We have been working hard on our jump shots and I'm excited for the second half of the season.

“The game against the Rams we should have won," he added. ”They played well in the first half and the wheels came off when our starting guard fouled out.

"The Warriors are a very skilled and well-coached team so to lose by 20 is about as much as we can ask for.

“We were only down four at half and we just couldn't keep the pressure on in the third [quarter],” Smith conceded.

The seniors also don't resume NorWOSSA action until Jan. 9-10 against Pelican Falls and St. Thomas Aquinas.

“We need to win out the rest of the season to have a shot at playoffs,” Smith noted.

“We need to keep working hard and you never know what can happen,” he reasoned.

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