(UPDATED Dec. 14 after Thursday night games)
By Ray Hamill — It’s not how you start the season, but rather how you finish it, that ultimately decides how successful it is.
That being said, the Huskies are getting plenty of respect early in the campaign.
According to MaxPreps, Fortuna is the top ranked Division-IV team in the state of California, edging out Providence of Burbank for the No. 1 spot.
The Huskies have certainly impressed so far, storming out to a 8-0 start and clinching back-to-back tournament championships at St. Helena and Arcata.
They have done this without starting senior Zac Claus, who rejoined the team this week after playing his part in the school’s North Coast Section football championship.
And their early success is gaining them attention beyond Humboldt County.
According to MaxPreps, the Huskies are also No. 2 overall in the NCS, behind only Salesian, as well as No. 16 overall in the state, and a very impressive No. 59 nationally.
And they’re not the only local team gaining attention for their impressive start.
Del Norte came into the week just one spot behind the Huskies at No. 2 in the NCS Division-IV rankings. After a 58-56 loss to Central Valley on Thursday night, however, the Warriors slid all the way to No. 9.
Hoopa Valley is also highly ranked, coming into the week at No. 4 among Division-V schools in California, trailing another NCS school, Stuart Hall, in first.
Hoopa was also ranked 12th overall in the NCS, an impressive showing for a Division-V public school.
After a loss to McKinleyville on Thursday, however, the Warriors slid to No. 20 overall in the NCS, while remaining steady at No. 2 in Division V.
Interestingly, in spite of the loss, they moved up one spot to No. 3 in the state among Division-V schools.
It’s still very early in the prep basketball season, but the local teams are already making their mark.