Defense was the name of the game in local girls basketball on Wednesday night.
In the big showdown in Crescent City, Del Norte held Eureka to just four first-half points on the way to a dominating 48-21 win, handing the Loggers their second straight loss and taking control of the Big 5.
Defense was also a key factor in Fortuna’s big win at home to McKinleyville, giving the Huskies sole possession of third place in the conference standings.
Likewise for the St. Bernard’s girls, who won their ninth straight game, holding Hoopa Valley to single digits in scoring in each of the opening three quarters.
For more on the big game in Crescent City, see Warriors make a statement as Loggers come out flat …
McKinleyville 27, Fortuna 48
The Huskies won their second straight in the Big 5, comfortably taking care of visiting McKinleyville.
Senior Camrin Dolcini continued her impressive season with a team-high 19 points in what was otherwise a balanced team performance from the home team.
Especially on defense.
“It was a great defensive effort,” Fortuna head coach Jesse Genaro said.
It was fewest points allowed by Fortuna in nine games, since holding Fort Bragg to 24 in mid-December.
With the win, the Huskies improved to 12-8 overall and 2-2 in the Big 5, while the Panthers dropped to 10-10 and 1-3.
St. Bernard’s 56, Hoopa Valley 44
The Crusaders defeated their closest competitors in the Little 4 on the road on Wednesday night, coming away with a 12-point win.
The visitors led by 22 points after three quarters, before a late rally from the home team narrowed the gap.
With the win, the St. Bernard’s girls improve to 3-0 in the Little 4 and 14-4 overall.
The Crusaders, who have now won nine straight, were led by Jasa Sisemore with 14 points, with eight players getting in on the scoring.
A pair of juniors, Brenna Silvers and Shelby Jordan, each also had big nights in the win, scoring 10 points apiece.
Jordan was 8-of-10 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
Emily Gardner added eight points, and Maddie Costa finished with six.
For Hoopa, which suffered its first conference loss, Beyonce Bussell scored a game-high 19 points, 13 of them in the fourth quarter.
Bussell, who has been one of the Warriors’ most consistent offensive threats all season, had four 3-pointers and was 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.