The Eureka Loggers took early control of Saturday’s championship game at the Arcata girls tournament, and held off league rivals McKinleyville for a 58-36 win.
The victory was the fourth straight to start the season for the impressive Eureka girls, who had wins over a pair of Division-I schools — Liberty and Foothill — on the way to the championship.
And Dorshaela Wesson, one of three seniors off to an impressive start for Eureka, was named tourney MVP for her efforts.
“I thought the senior leadership today was fantastic,” Eureka head coach Michael Harvey said. “And it was Dorshaela’s leadership and ball-handling, especially in the first two games, that was in my mind the difference.”
The Loggers took control of the game early, opening up a 19-11 lead after the opening quarter and stretching the advantage to 16 by halftime.
Too many fouls fueled a sloppy first half, as Eureka got in early foul trouble, with the McKinleyville girls bringing their trademark intensity and settling down as the game wore on.
And the Eureka head coach said it was a win his players had to work hard for, and not for the first time against a much improved Panthers team this season.
“They took it to us in the scrimmage two weeks ago, and I think that was a wake-up call for us,” Harvey said. “(Coach) Tony (McClure) has that team playing very well right now.”
Eureka’s Makaila Napoleon and Paige Lyons each also had big tournaments and were named to the all-tournament team along with Wesson.
The Loggers will travel to Redding to play at the Harlan Carter Tournament next weekend in what should be another tough early-season test.
For McKinleyville, Theresa Dickey, Rian Heenan and Hailee Henry each finished with six points in the loss.
Grace Rosebrook and Cameron Heenan were each named to the all-tournament team.
Foothill 75, Arcata 50
Kali Zanotti led the Tigers with 14 points, including three 3-pointers, as they fell to Foothill at the Arcata tournament on Saturday.
Zanotti capped a strong three-day tournament with another big showing, and earned all-tournament honors in the process.
Freshman Grace Talty also had a solid tournament, and finished Saturday’s game with nine points.
“We played with a lot of heart,” Arcata head coach Doug Oliveira said. “But we threw them the ball way too often. Their press hurt us.”
A young Tigers squad features just three players with any real varsity experience before this season.
“We’re young, but like I told them, we’re going to get better,” the head coach said.
Hoopa Valley 36, Lower Lake 39
After playing a pair of Division-I schools on back-to-back days to open the Arcata tournament, the Warriors had a much more competitive matchup against Lower Lake on Saturday.
And it showed, as the Hoopa girls played their closest game of the young season.
Beyonce Bussell capped a strong tourney with 13 points in the loss.