Bench players, defense lead Eureka in impressive win


Photos by Ray Hamill/

By Ray Hamill — The Eureka Loggers showcased their depth on Friday night, as they comfortably took care of business at Arcata by a score of 74-27 and improved to 2-0 in the Big 5.

The Loggers took control of the game in the second quarter, and unlike in their league opener at home to Fortuna two nights prior, they never appeared in danger of losing this one.

“I thought we came out on fire tonight,” Eureka head coach Michael Harvey said. “There was a sense of urgency to play as well as we did. I’m very proud of the girls for that.”

There were two particularly impressive aspects to their performance.

No.1 was the team defense, which gave up just seven points in the middle two quarters combined and held the home team to single digits in three of the four quarters.

And No. 2 was the team depth, with a group of eager bench players stepping up in the second half as the visitors got stronger the longer the game went on.


Eureka’s Makaila Napoleon, right, moves the ball up court with Arcata’s Jocelyn Bliven in pursuit..

“Our bench is good,” Harvey said. “And I maybe need to trust them more than I have in the past. They showed we’re deep.”

Senior Tiana Rodgers was particularly dangerous for the visitors, nailing three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter on her way to 11 points.

Mackenna Heckert, Ayana Watson, Malia Guilbert and Karyn Jensen, among others, all stepped up for the Loggers in a dominating second half.

“We have 12 girls who can really play,” Harvey said.

They’ll likely need them too in what is shaping up to be a competitive Big 5, with bigger challenges ahead for the Eureka girls, including a high-flying Del Norte team that came away from Fortuna with a key win on Friday night.


Arcata’s Sophia Salinas (10) and Tia Franklin (4) battle for position with Eureka’s Makenna Heckert.

Piling on the pressure

A young Arcata team stayed in contention with the Loggers early in the game and trailed by just three points heading into the second quarter.

Eureka quickly took control after that, however, stretching the advantage to 15 by halftime.

The Loggers continued to pile on the pressure after the break, holding the Tigers to just two points in the third quarter and outscoring them by 32 points for the second half.

Dorshaela Wesson again had a big game for the Loggers, finishing with a game-high 16 points, with Rodgers and Makaila Napoleon next best with 11 points apiece.

Sophia Chalmers, who is looking ever more comfortable, capped a big week with 10 points, while Carly Boynton added eight points.

The loss was the biggest of the season for a young Arcata team, which dropped to 7-9 overall and 0-2 in the Big 5.

Kylie Conti, Sophia Belton and Jocelyn Bliven each scored a team-high six points in the loss.

Things won’t get much easier for the Tigers with a trip to Del Norte on Wednesday.

Next up for the 11-4 Loggers is a trip to McKinleyville, also on Wednesday.

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