If you've never been to a high school basketball game, or haven't been to one in a while, the Muskie senior girls' basketball team has played in some very entertaining ones so far and would love more support from the community.
That's the message head coach Gord McCabe would like to get out ahead of Fort High hosting the NorWOSSA playoffs on Nov. 6.
“I would like to make a plea to the people of Fort Frances . . . I'm really hoping we will get some community crowd support in those games,” he urged.
“If you have not been to high school basketball game in a long time, I can assure you that the games between Dryden and us this year have been highly-entertaining and we would love to have your support.”
All four games the Muskies played against the Eagles during the regular season were settled by 12 points or less, including the black-and-gold's 58-54 loss to them there this past Thursday afternoon.
The Muskies were slated to host the Kenora Broncos yesterday (0-6), with the outcome not known as of press time, and McCabe knew they would give his squad a good challenge.
“We will approach Kenora on Tuesday [yesterday] exactly the same way we plan to play them in the NorWOSSA semi-final,” he noted.
“I know they are going to press us at NorWOSSA but I will surprised if they tip their hand in the final league game—but we will be ready for it if they do.”
The Muskies were a perfect 3-0 against Kenora going into yesterday's season-finale but the McCabe stressed the importance of not taking them lightly.
“Although we are not going to take anything for granted, based on results, we will be the heavy favourite to win the semi-final against Kenora,” he conceded.
“We need to not only win but get through that game without any injuries and without being too tired to play our second game that day as the final will be Dryden's first game,” McCabe said.
The Muskies are just 1-3 versus the Eagles this year, meaning a healthy roster will be crucial to coming out on top if they do advance to the NorWOSSA final against Dryden.
“Playing the semi-final can be an advantage in getting rid of the playoff nerves, as long as you are not tired or hurt going into the final,” McCabe reasoned.
“We expect to be in that final and I believe strongly in my team,” he added, vowing the Muskies will be ready.
As for Thursday's loss in Dryden, Fort High started out strong in leading 19-11 after the first quarter.
But the Eagles (6-1) picked it up from there, trimming the lead to 29-24 at halftime.
“I thought we played a fabulous first quarter but we were just OK after that and OK is not going to be good enough against a talented team like Dryden,” McCabe stressed.
The black-and-gold headed into the final quarter with a 40-37 lead, but scored just one basket over the final four minutes as Dryden stormed back to take it by a 58-54 margin.
“We scored one basket in the final four minutes of the game and that is just not going to get it done,” McCabe remarked.
“I have been around senior girls' basketball for a long time and these two teams are arguably the two most talented I have seen in NorWOSSA,” he added.
"It is a shame that one of them is going to have to lose [in the final].
“We just want to make sure it is not us,” he said.
Janissa Judson scored a team-high 14 points in the loss, including being a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point range.
Grace Petsnick chipped in 12 points while Jamie Spencer added 10.
Sarah Larson and Ellie Petsnick each netted seven points.