Isaac Puzz scored 31 points as the McKinleyville Panthers comfortably opened their own Rotary Tip-Off tournament with an 84-51 win over the visiting Lower Lake Trojans on Thursday night.
Puzz drained six 3-pointers, as well as nailing all six of his free-throw attempts to lead a deep team effort, with 10 McKinleyville players scoring.
AJ Stubbs added 13 points in the win, while teammate Freddie Sundberg finished with nine.
“We played with a lot of energy,” McKinleyville head coach Sonny Tripp said. “We really defended the ball, and we moved the ball around on offense very well. I thought we played good team basketball.”
The Panthers have seven players back from last season’s Big 5 winning team, which was the program’s first league title in 20 years and only its second ever.
And the head coach is hoping that core experience will help them compete for a second straight league crown this season.
Regan Wolfe added eight points for McKinleyville, which led 46-23 at halftime and stretched that advantage to 33 going into the fourth quarter.
The Panthers continue tournament play in the winners’ bracket, playing Casa Grande at 8:30 p.m. on Friday.
Arcata 48, Casa Grande 62
The Tigers dropped their tournament opener to Casa Grande at McKinleyville.
Hunter Santsche finished with a team-high 12 points for the Tigers, including three 3-pointers.
Jaden Gorge added 10 points and Garrett Hall six points for the Arcata boys, who will continue tourney play against Lower Lake on Friday at 4 p.m.
Hoopa Valley 96, Bradshaw Christian 90
George Navarro exploded for 41 points in a high-scoring game to lead the Warriors to an opening win at the 61st Anderson Valley Tournament on Thursday.
Navarro was instrumental in turning around a 43-41 halftime deficit, as the Warriors scored 55 second-half points.
Wade Nixon added 16 points for the 1-0 Warriors.
Hoopa continues tournament action against Woodside Priory at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
Fortuna 77, El Molino 50
The Huskies got the season off to a winning start with a comfortable win over El Molino at the St. Helena Tournament on Thursday.
Defensively, the Huskies held their opponents to just eight points in each of the first two quarters and led 45-16 at halftime, taking control of the contest early.