The most exciting game locally on a busy night in the North Coast Section basketball playoffs was at St. Bernard’s, where the Crusaders rallied late to sneak a 68-64 win over visiting Archbishop Hanna.
The game came down to the final seconds, with the home team holding on after having to come from behind against a tenacious Hawks team in this Division-VI clash.
“It took us until the fourth quarter to go, ‘do we want to win this game?’ And at the end, they just said they wanted it,” St. Bernard’s head coach Steve Thrap said. “They battled for it.”
The No. 7 seed Crusaders started out the stronger of the two teams, but the second quarter belonged to the visitors, who out-hustled the home team and took advantage of several Crusader turnovers to lead by four at the interval.
The game was back-and forth after that, with little to separate either team.
Lane Thrap was instrumental in keeping St. Bernard’s in the game, stepping up big in the third quarter and finishing the night with 29 points.
Logan Simoni had one of his best offensive games of the season, finishing with 15 points, while Logan Petrusha added 10 points.
Will Omey also stepped up with a big 3-pointer late in the game that proved to be pivotal.
With 20 seconds remaining, Justin Hagler hit a free throw to put the Crusaders up by two scores, and they were able to hold on after that.
Next up for the Crusaders is a trip to play at No. 2 Jewish Community in San Francisco on Saturday.
McKinleyville 56, Lick-Wilmerding 66
The Panthers saw an impressive season come to an end at the hands of the No. 8 seeds in San Francisco.
The McKinleyville boys trailed by 11 at halftime, but battled back after the interval, outscoring the host team 19-14 in the third.
Lick-Wilmerding, however, closed out the stronger of the two teams and held on for the win.
Isaac Puzz and AJ Stubbs each closed out the season in impressive fashion for McKinleyville, with 18 and 16 points, respectively.
Freddie Sundberg also had a good game for the Panthers, finishing with nine points on three 3-pointers, while Kameron Conlin added six points.
The Panthers finished the season 13-12.
Arcata 41, Marin Catholic 58
The Tigers were outscored in each of the first two quarters and found themselves 19 points adrift at halftime.
Garrett Hall led Arcata with 12 points, while Jason Tuermer-Lee finished with six.
Nine different Arcata players scored.
Arcata closes out the season 9-16.
Middletown 42, Del Norte 72
The Warriors comfortably advanced to the Division-IV quarterfinals, with a 30-point win at home to the Mustangs.
Omar Banuelos led Del Norte offensively with 28 points, while Ethan Price finished with 14.
Nine different players scored for Del Norte, which led 40-19 at halftime, and nailed 12 3-pointers for the game.
The Warriors (15-8) will now travel to play at Fortuna on Saturday night in a rematch of last week’s Dick Niclai Championship game.
It will be the fourth meeting between the two teams this season, with Fortuna taking all three previous games.
Rincon Valley Christian 69, South Fork 62
The No. 6 South Fork Cubs lost at home to No. 11 RVC by seven points in the Division-VI bracket.
CJ Van Meter scored a team-high 20 points for the Cubs, while Cody Wyatt finished with 15.