The Eureka Loggers are showing signs of progress at a pivotal time of the season.
On Monday night, Eureka pulled out a dramatic 82-81 win over visiting Hoopa Valley in a non-conference boys basketball game at Eureka High.
And the Loggers displayed plenty of character in doing so, seeing a 17-point advantage turn into a four-point deficit, before stepping up late to seal their third win of the year.
“I was impressed with the way they stuck together,” Eureka head coach Robbie Thompson said of his players. “We could easily have folded when we gave up that 17-point lead.”
The Loggers came out on fire, scoring 31 first-quarter points to lead by 12 going into the second quarter.
After stretching the lead to as many as 17, the Loggers saw the momentum slip away in the third quarter, with the visitors outscoring them 29-18 for the period.
In an exciting finish, Miles Meynell gave the home team a two-point lead in the dying seconds off an assist from Zach Reed.
Hoopa’s leading scorer George Navarro then went to the line for a pair of free-throw attempts, but missed on the second as the Loggers escaped with the narrow win.
“The boys needed it,” said Thompson, whose team came into the game at 2-10, having suffered a pair of heavy defeats in the Big 5 last week. “It was good for morale, and it gives us some momentum heading back into league.”
And, according to the coach, it was a complete team effort.
“It was like a total team win,” he said. “Even the guys that didn’t get in the game kept the energy up on the sidelines. That camaraderie says a lot.”
Miles Meynell led the Loggers with 23 points, including 10 in the opening quarter as they quickly set the tone, while teammate Jaeden Thayer finished with 20 points, 17 of them in the first half.
Cahliel Garner also had a big impact with 12 points, while Reed finished with 10.
For Hoopa, which dropped to 13-6, Navarro finished with an impressive 38 points, including 21 in the second half.
Wade Nixon also had a big night for the Warriors with 21 points, while Dennis Young finished with 11 points, including going 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.
South Fork 57, Mendocino 62
The Cubs dropped a non-league road game at Mendocino on Monday.
Cody Wyatt scored a team-high 15 points for South Fork, while teammate C.J. Van Meter finished with 10 points.
“Our hustle kept us in the game,” said South Fork head coach Taylor Morrow, whose team dropped to 7-8.
The Cubs will open the Little 4 at St. Bernard’s on Thursday.