The Muskie junior and senior girls' basketball teams have been nothing short of impressive so far this season and kept that momentum rolling into a showdown with the host Sioux Lookout Warriors on Monday.
Fresh off a Bronze-medal winning performance at the annual Tiger Fall Classic tournament in Thunder Bay over the weekend, the Muskie juniors improved to a league-best 5-0 with a 47-37 win over the Warriors.
“This was a good win for us. Both Tatum Glowasky and Grace Smith did not travel with the team as they had other stuff going on,” noted Muskie coach Gord McCabe.
“Going from 11 players to nine players is not easy given the up-tempo game we play but although we were tiring a bit at the end, I thought the girls really stepped it up.”
Ayiana Gagne had a big performance in the win over the Warriors (0-5) in netting a season-high 16 points to lead the black-and-gold offensively.
Heaven States chipped in with nine points while Anna Gagne and Joyce Wu netted six points each.
Monika Ruppenstein potted four points while Serena Teeple, Emily Fitzgerald, and Emma Yerxa all added a basket to round out the offence.
“Ayiana Gagne and Heaven States were outstanding,” lauded McCabe.
"Ayiana works so hard at both ends of the floor and runs forever. Heaven made some great passes and also drove the basketball to the hoop when she had openings.
“I also thought that Joyce Wu did a really good job of controlling things from the point guard position,” he added.
As mentioned, the Muskies had gone into Monday's game in Sioux Lookout after an impressive performance at the Tiger Fall Classic Tourney held Friday and Saturday in Thunder Bay.
Fort High opened play on Friday with a 46-23 romp over the St. Patrick Saints.
States led all scorers with 16 points while Tatum Glowasky chipped in with 10.
Teeple potted six points, with Ayiana Gagne, Tierney Rousseau, and Wu each netting four and Fitzgerald adding a basket.
But the Muskies then lost their second game on Saturday 33-23 to the Hammarskjold Vikings.
States again led the way with an 11-point performance while Glowasky added six points.
Teeple, Anna Gagne, and Rousseau each chipped in a basket to round out the offence.
That loss dropped the Muskies into the Bronze-Medal Game, where they came away with a 27-10 victory over the host Westgate Tigers.
States was the leading scorer with eight points, which also earned her player-of-the-game honours.
Glowasky chipped in with six points, while Ayiana Gagne had five. Grace Smith, Wu, and Ruppenstein each added a basket while Teeple and Fitzgerald both got a point off a free-throw.
“I could not have been happier with our results from the Westgate tournament,” McCabe beamed.
"The juniors proved they can play with anyone in the region as they were pretty dominant against both Westgate and St. Patrick.
“Hammarskjold is undefeated in Thunder Bay and although we lost the game, losing by 10 in their gym is—in my opinion—a very good showing,” he reasoned.
As for the Muskie seniors, they improved to 4-1 in NorWOSSA play with a 52-13 rout of the host Warriors on Monday.
Bella Ward, Grace Petsnick, and Jamie Spencer each scored eight points to pace the Muskies' offence.
“I thought we were very controlled in the first half and played disciplined basketball. Sioux Lookout did not score until there was four minutes left in the second quarter,” noted McCabe, whose team led 31-4 at halftime.
“I though we got a bit sloppy in the second half but it is hard to stay focused when the game is so one-sided.”
Keisha DeBungie chipped in with seven points while Simone Payne added six and Janissa Judson had five.
Joanna Empey and Rachel Anderson both potted four points while Aurora Hutton added a basket to round out the offence against the winless Warriors (0-5).
The seniors had also gone into Monday's game fresh off a Bronze-Medal performance at the Tiger Fall Classic tourney.
The Muskies opened play on Friday with a thrilling 44-42 win over the talented St. Ignatius Falcons.
It was a big win for the Muskies as the Falcons have given them fits over the years.
Spencer led the way with a 15-point performance, which included going a perfect three-for-three on three-point attempts.
Petsnick chipped in with 10 points while DeBungie added six.
Empey and Ward both potted four points while Anderson and Janissa Judson recorded a basket each and Aurora Hutton added a single to round out the offence.
But Fort High suffered a tough 61-35 defeat to the Vikings on Saturday to drop down to the Bronze-Medal Game.
DeBungie dropped a team-high 15 points in the loss while Spencer added eight and Petsnick chipped in with seven.
Empey and Ward both added a basket.
The Muskies did end tourney play on a great note, however, as they dispatched the host Tigers 50-30 to snare bronze.
Petsnick led the way offensively with a 16-point showing while Spencer netted 10 points.
Simone Payne and Ward each scored six points while Judson chipped in with five.
Hutton potted three points with Carmen Hebert and DeBungie both adding a basket to round out the offence.
In boys' volleyball action on Monday in Sioux Lookout, meanwhile, both the juniors and seniors suffered losses to the host Warriors.
The juniors (3-2) suffered their second loss of the season with a hard-fought 2-1 loss to the unbeaten Sioux Lookout (5-0).
Set scores were 25-21, 21-25, and 23-25.
The seniors also fell by a 2-1 count to the Warriors (1-4) to see their league record fall to 1-4.
All four Muskie court sport teams were slated to resume NorWOSSA action yesterday here against the Dryden Eagles, with the outcomes not known as of press time.