The Arcata Tigers ended a four-game losing skid while surprising the rest of the Big 5 with a 54-49 win at Del Norte in boys basketball on Friday night.
The win was the perfect way for the Tigers to respond, two days after losing to Eureka in overtime, and puts them right back in pole position to secure a top-three seed for the Dick Niclai tournament.
Nine different players scored for the Tigers, who improved to 3-4 and now sit alone in third place in the Big 5 with one game remaining.
With Eureka (2-5) losing to McKinleyville (2-4), each now sits one win back of the Tigers going into the final week of league play.
Jaden Gorge led the Tigers with 12 points, while teammate Mason Railsback finished with eight.
A total of nine different Arcata players scored.
For Del Norte, which is now 3-3 in the Big 5 and in danger of losing the No. 2 seed, Omar Banuelos scored a game-high 21 points, including five 3-pointers.
Ethan Price finished with 11 points.
Del Norte (13-6 overall) plays at McKinleyville on Wednesday, while Arcata (9-13) closes out Big 5 play at home to Fortuna, also on Wednesday.
St. Bernard’s 71, South Fork 57
The Crusaders avenged an earlier loss at home to South Fork, while seriously damaging the Cubs chances of sharing a league title and keeping their own slender hopes alive.
Lane Thrap was instrumental in the win once again, scoring a game-high 29 points as the visitors won a third straight game for the first time all season.
The Crusaders also appear to be coming together at an opportune time, with a fourth win in five games.
At 3-2 in league play (11-8 overall), it also puts them ahead in the race for the No. 2 seed for the Dick Niclai Memorial Tournament, and a home game.
The Cubs dropped to 2-2 in league play and 9-11 overall.
Hoopa valley leads the Little 4 with a record of 4-0 and is guaranteed at least a share of the league title.
“The boys did a fantastic job and earned the win,” St. Bernard’s head coach Steve Thrap said.
Lane Thrap scored 21 of his tally in the second half, while teammate Luke Fairfield, who finished with 15 points, stepped up big in the opening half to help keep the visitors in contention.
Lane Thrap was also 7-for-7 at the free-throw line.
The Crusaders had several standouts for the night, including Bode Joyner, who had his best game of the season and finished with 10 points, as well as Ayden Hamanaka, who gave his head coach some quality minutes.
Cody Wyatt led the Cubs with 22 points, while CJ Van Meter finished with 10 and Riley Gallager six.
The Crusaders will play at Brookings-Harbor on Saturday, while South Fork travels to Hoopa for a rescheduled game on Monday.
Hoopa Valley 54, Ferndale 44
The Warriors kept their chances of sharing the Little 4 championship alive with an important win on the road at Ferndale amid difficult circumstances on Thursday night, completing the league sweep of the Cats.
The ever-reliable Alexia Jackson led the way with 20 points in the win, while Beyonce Bussell finished with 14 points.
With the win, the Warriors improved to 6-13 on the season and 3-1 in the Little 4.
They can clinch a share of the championship with wins in their final two games, at home to South Fork on Monday and at league leaders St. Bernard’s on Wednesday.
With the exception of a Little 4 loss at home to St. Bernard’s, all of Hoopa’s losses this season have come against larger schools, setting up the Warriors for a late-season surge and a postseason run.