It was a good day for the local teams at the Lady Panther Classic basketball tournament at McKinleyville High on Thursday, with three of the four squads winning their opening games.
The action continues today, with St. Bernard’s and Fortuna playing at 6:30 p.m., followed by McKinleyville and Fort Bragg at 8 p.m.
McKinleyville 66, Hoopa Valley 36
The Panthers began their own tournament with a comfortable win over the Warriors, with seniors Theresia Dickey and Grace Rosebrook leading the way.
Dickey scored a game-high 18 points, complementing her trademark defensive intensity with a strong offensive showing, including going 8-of-10 from the free throw line.
Dickey also had three steals, while Rosebrook added five points and six steals.
“It was good for our bench. They got plenty of time,” said McKinleyville head coach Tony McClure, whose team led 36-14 at halftime. “Our starters played really well, and our pressure defense was very disruptive.”
Sophomore Cameron Heenan continued her impressive start to the season, where she has played a bigger role than expected, finishing with 11 points in the win.
Hailee Henry also continued to impress, adding six points, while sophomore Kylee Townsend had five points.
The Panthers improved to 5-2 with the win.
For Hoopa, which dropped to 3-7, Beyonce Bussell scored a team-high 11 points and Alexia Jackson finished with eight points.
With just seven teams at the tournament, Hoopa will have a bye on Friday, before closing out with two games on Saturday.
Fortuna 53, Yreka 35
All 10 players scored in a balanced performance for the Huskies, who opened the Panther Classic with a comfortable win over Yreka on Thursday.
Junior Charlotte Carroll continued her impressive start to the season with a team-high 11 points in the win, while Morgan Murray scored eight, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Grace Shaha also finished with eight points for the Huskies, who improved to 6-3.
Fortuna took control early and never relented, outscoring Yreka in each of the first three quarters.
Camrin Dolcini added six points in the win.
St. Bernard’s 43, Redding Christian 30
Emily Gardner scored a game 22 points, including all 14 of her team’s second-quarter tally, as the Crusaders defeated a good Redding Christian team to open the Panther Classic at McKinleyville.
Gardner’s big second quarter helped give St. Bernard’s a 25-15 lead at halftime, and the Crusaders were able to hold off the Lions for the win.
“There are still some rough patches that need improvement, but we’re going in the right direction,” said St. Bernard’s head coach Mark Gardner, whose team improved to 4-3 with a second straight win.
Maddie Costa added eight points in the win, while Jasa Sisemore finished with seven.
The Lions suffered their first loss after coming into the game at 8-0.
“I loved our competitive focus tonight,” Mark Gardner said. “We played really hard.”
Arcata 49, Corning 46
The Tigers might want to re-think their travel plans.
For the second straight week, the Arcata girls started slowly after several hours of travel, with the same problems shooting the ball.
For the second straight week, however, they also recovered well to settle down and pull out a tight win.
“We proved to ourselves we are not a drive-for-four-hours-and-get-out-and-play-well team,” Arcata head coach Doug Oliveira said.
Just as they did last week in their Durham tournament opener against Lower Lake, the Tigers dominated early but found themselves trailing.
This time, they were down 19-7 early in the second quarter, before battling back to take a two-point lead at halftime.
“We played really well defensively,” Oliveira said. “We got them rattled with our pressure and got a couple of shots finally to get back in the game. It was real similar to last week. We dominated the game, but just couldn’t score.”
Raja Cohen led the Tigers with 12 points, with teammate Jocelyn Bliven adding 11 and Kali Zanotti 10.
The Tigers continue tournament play on Friday against Pleasant Valley, the Division-III state runners-up from a year ago.
“They’re a real quality program. It’s going to be a tough challenge for us,” Oliveira said.
Eureka 57, Mission 34
The Eureka girls got back to winning ways with a comfortable victory over Mission at the Lincoln tournament in San Francisco on Thursday.
Makaila Napoleon continued to impress for the Loggers, finishing with a team-high 17 points, as Eureka ended a two-game skid after starting the year 5-0.
Carly Boynton added nine points and Paige Lyons eight points.
The Loggers, who improved to 5-2, continue tourney play on Friday.
Ferndale 50, San Francisco Waldorf 41
The Ferndale girls continued to roll at the California School for the Deaf Holiday Classic on Thursday.
The win was the sixth in seven games for the Cats this season.