Prep Girls Roundup — Panthers, Loggers to meet for AIBT championship


Photos by Ray Hamill/

By Ray Hamill — Eureka and McKinleyville each continued their winning ways at the Arcata girls tournament on Friday, and will meet in Saturday’s championship game at 3 p.m.

McKinleyville rallied with a big second half to defeat the host team 65-56 in the nightcap, while Eureka topped Foothill 62-42 earlier in the evening.

Hoopa Valley was also in action at the tournament, matching up against a Division-I school for the second straight day, and falling 59-33 to Liberty.

At the Marin Academy Tournament, meanwhile, St. Bernard’s edged Rincon Valley Christian to reach the championship game.


McKinleyville 65, Arcata 56

The Panthers took advantage of a balanced team effort to overcome a seven-point halftime deficit, outscoring Arcata 40-24 in the second half for the win.

Rian Heenan scored a team-high 12 points and four other players each added nine points, as the Panthers won for the second straight day at the tournament.

The Mack girls were outscored 20-11 in the second quarter to find themselves trailing at the interval after a back-and-forth and somewhat chaotic first quarter.

“We kind of got a little tired in the second quarter,” McKinleyville head coach Tony McClure said. “In the third quarter we switched things up and made some adjustments, and we rotated our girls better and didn’t get as tired.”


Theresia Dickey had another big game for the Panthers, making some big defensive stops and adding eight points, including six in the fourth quarter, while Cameron Heenan came up with some key second-half rebounds as well as nailing a big late 3-pointer.

Cameron Heenan finished wth nine points, as did Grace Rosebrook, who was instrumental in the win and also had eight steals, six rebounds and three assists.

Hailee Henry and Rayn Tripp each also had nine points.

Kyrie Wiegand added five points in the win.

For Arcata, senior Kali Zanotti scored a team-high 15 points, while freshman Grace Talty had a big night, finishing with 11 points, including seven in the third quarter alone as the Tigers struggled to keep pace.

Sophia Belton added seven points, Jocelyn six and Raja Cohen and Sophia Salinas five apiece.

Eureka 62, Foothill 42

The Loggers pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat a Division-I school for the second straight day at the AIBT on Friday.

And the seniors led the way for the Loggers, with Makaila Napoleon scoring a team-high 22 points, and Paige Lyons and Dorshaela Wesson each finishing with 13 points.

“The seniors played well,” said Eureka head coach Michael Harvey, whose team is now 3-0 on the young season.


Eureka’s Bella Vigil (12), Karyn Jensen (33) and Keylei Carroll set up defensively during Friday’s game.

Napoleon was again the most dangerous offensive threat for the Loggers, while Wesson was a major influence in other ways as well.

“I think that the leadership of Dorsheala again was evident,” Harvey said.

Lyons turned in a strong defensive performance, shutting down Foothill’s top threat for much of the game.

A pair of juniors, Malia Guilbert and Kellina Pratton, each also came up big for the Loggers, who displayed their depth by pulling away in the second half, as they outscored Foothill 36-20 in that spell.

“I was really pleased with how our bench came in and worked really hard,” Harvey said.

Hoopa Valley 33, Liberty 59

The Warriors have played some top notch opponents in their first four games of the season, and it should stand to a young squad down the road.

For now, however, they continue to go through some growing pains, with the Division-V Hoopa girls matching up against a Division-I program for the second straight day at the Arcata tournament.

The experienced Alexia Jackson continued to lead the way for Hoopa, finishing with a team-high eight points, while teammate Beyonce Bussell added seven points.

“We just fell apart a little in the third quarter,” Hoopa head coach Floyd Billings said. “It just kind of got away from us.”

Billings, however, continues to see improvement from his young roster.

“We’re going forward,” he said. “So we’re not going backwards.”

St. Bernard’s 35, Rincon Valley Christian 34

The Crusaders won their second game in two days to advance to the championship game against the host school on Saturday.

But this time around it was a lot closer than the opening rout of Emery.

Emily Gardner nailed a pair of free throws with 24 seconds remaining to help pull out the win, as the St. Bernard’s defense held RVC to just three points in the fourth quarter.

“Much credit to Rincon Valley Christian, they played a heck of a game,” St. Bernard’s head coach Mark Gardner said.

It wasn’t enough, however, as the Crusaders dug deep late, with their seniors again stepping up.

Jasa Sisemore scored a team-high 10 points in the win, while teammate Maddie Costa added five.

Shelby Jordan also stepped up big late in the game for St. Bernard’s, scoring three of her five points in the fourth quarter.

The Crusaders will play the host school in the championship game at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

4 replies »

  1. Hoopa girls, go ladies!

    Very smart to set up pre league games with higher division competition.

    As an analogy when you are playing a sport that you suck at (tennis for example) why would you want to play it with someone who sucks worse than you if you want to become better…

    • And let’s not forget the coin flip issues… another analogy would be why would you play a sport to get to the highest pinnacle just to be told you ain’t gonna get to play it because of a cheap ass fake silver dollar coin flip…

      Personally if there’s any coin flips to decide issues hoping there’s a big Uprising and heads roll…

  2. But this is California so who really is surprised at reading a coin flip as being the determining Factor it just goes to show that California is a lazy State when it comes to people in charge who fail and abdicate their obligations responsibilities and duties to the other people that they took an oath to…

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