By Ray Hamill — A pair of former Eureka Loggers, who are each enjoying big seasons with their respective collegiate teams, will meet each other on the basketball court at Shasta College this weekend.
Shasta’s Kayla Bonomini and Bobbie Purify of College of the Redwoods will come face to face when the Corsairs travel east on Saturday for a showdown between teams at opposite ends of the Golden Valley Conference standings.
The two players played alongside each other at Eureka High in 2015/16, when Purify was a senior and Bonomini a junior.
Since then, they’ve gone their separate ways, with Purify attending Oregon Tech for a year before playing these past two seasons at CR, and Bonomini taking her game inland to Redding to play for the Knights.
Both are among their team’s leaders this season, with Bonomini turning in a career performance in a 91-42 win over Feather River on Saturday.
The Shasta guard shot lights out, scoring 42 points, including 10 3-pointers on 14 attempts.
She was unstoppable in the third quarter, when she scored a remarkable 24 points alone, making nine straight shots at one point and finishing 11 of 12 from the floor in the second half.
The 2017 Eureka High graduate has started all 20 games for the conference-leading Knights, and leads the team in scoring with 15.1 points a game.
Her role has evolved dramatically this season, and it has shown in her game, where she is averaging 10 points more a game.
The Knights are 4-1 in the GVC and 11-9 overall.
Purify likewise has had a big impact for the Corsairs, where she is second on the team in scoring with 12.3 points a game, trailing only Arcata freshman Bree Northern (12.6).
Purify, however, brings a lot more than that to the team.
“She’s my go-to sophomore,” CR head coach Jain Tuey said. “I know I can count on her. She gives it her all every time she’s in the game.”
Particularly on the defensive end, where the 2016 Eureka High graduate has become the Corsairs’ most important player.
CR has struggled this season and sits in last place in the conference standings at 0-5 (5-13 overall), although the players have shown signs of breaking out of their recent slump, including a strong effort in an eight-point loss to Butte on Saturday.
“There are moments when they play great and everything they’ve been working on clicks for them,” Tuey said. “But the consistency isn’t there.”
The Corsairs play at Siskiyous (3-2, 13-7) on Thursday before the trip to the conference leaders.
“We’re trying to pinpoint the players that work well together and getting them more minutes together,” Tuey said.