St. Bernard’s and McKinleyville both advanced to play for the Lady Panther Classic championship on Saturday, after each won their semifinals on Friday.
The Crusaders topped Fortuna in an all-local affair, while the McKinleyville girls beat Fort Bragg by 24 points to advance to the deciding game of their own tournament for the first time in three years.
St. Bernard’s 54, Fortuna 45
The Crusaders started the stronger of the two teams but saw an early nine-point lead slip away and trailed by one heading into the fourth quarter.
A strong effort from the free-throw line down the stretch, however, was enough to seal the come-from-behind win as the St. Bernard’s girls improved to 5-3.
It was the Crusaders’ third straight win.
“A good preseason test for both teams,” St. Bernard’s head coach Mark Gardner said. “Fortuna played really well.”
So too did St. Bernard’s senior Jasa Sisemore, who finished with a game-high 20 points, including nailing five of her six free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter.
“Jasa Sisemore was terrific tonight,” Gardner said.
Teammate Mackenzie Finck was just as clutch, hitting on all six of her free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter and finishing with 10 points.
For Fortuna, junior center Charlotte Carroll continued to impress, finishing with a team-high 16 points.
Teammates Jordyn Quen added seven points and Camrin Dolcini six.
With the win, the Crusaders improved to 5-3, while the Huskies are now 6-4.
McKinleyville 66, Fort Bragg 42
The Panthers won their fourth straight game to advance to Saturday’s tourney decider against St. Bernard’s at 4 p.m.
Rayn Tripp had a huge night for McKinleyville, finishing with 26 points, 13 of them in the fourth quarter alone as the home team pulled away.
It was another good team performance for Mack, with 10 players scoring.
Victoria Claros finished with seven points, while Hailee Henry, Cameron Heenan and Theresia Dickey each had six.
Eureka 52, Urban 40
Makaila Napoleon scored 32 points to lead the Loggers to their second straight win at the Lincoln tournament in San Francisco on Friday.
Eureka improved to 7-2 with the win, and will play for tournament championship on Saturday.
Arcata 39, Pleasant Valley 66
The Tigers fell to a very strong Pleasant Valley team at the Red Bluff Holiday Classic on Friday, ending their four-game win streak.
“We got down early. We didn’t handle their pressure very well and didn’t execute well on offense,” Arcata head coach Doug Oliveira said. “And they did a pretty good job against our pressure and got some early baskets.”
The Tigers settled down after that, however, and pushed the Division-III state runners-up in the second half.
“I felt like we competed,” the Arcata coach said. “After they got up by 20, it was fairly even the rest of the game.
“It was our first opportunity to play a real quality team, and after the initial adjustment period against players two-to-three inches bigger and just as quick, I didn’t feel overly displeased with how we played.”
Sophia Belton led the Tigers with 12 points, while Kali Zanotti had 10.
With the loss, the Tigers dropped to 6-3.
Del Norte 72, Cascade Christian 22
The Warriors won for the second straight day at the Hidden Valley tournament, rolling to a 50-point victory over Cascade Christian on Friday.
The Warriors also defeated North Marion 47-39 to open the tournament on Thursday.
With the two wins, Del Norte improves to 8-1 on the season.
The Warriors will play Banks (5-0) for the tournament championship on Saturday.
Del Norte has won four straight.
Ferndale 53, Emery 31
The Ferndale girls continued their impressive start to the season with a fourth straight win at the California School for the Deaf Holiday Classic on Friday.
The Wildcats are now 7-1 on the season and will play the host school for the tournament championship on Saturday.