By Ray Hamill — Congratulations to the St. Bernard’s girls, who now stand alone among all Humboldt-Del Norte League teams when it comes to North Coast Section basketball.
The Crusaders defeated Cloverdale with a dominating performance on Saturday night, winning 56-36 to clinch the Division-V championship.
The title is the program’s fourth in five years, and fifth all-time.
And that puts the Crusaders in a class of their own on the North Coast.
The fifth title breaks a tie they had held with the McKinleyville girls and both the St. Bernard’s and Hoopa Valley boys, each of whom has four section titles.
The St. Bernard’s girls won Division-VI titles in 2015 and 2016 , to go with the Division-V titles in 2017 and 2019.
They previously won a single-A title back in 1986.
Saturday’s win also gives the Little 4 a 12th NCS crown in 11 years, boys and girls combined, which is a remarkable statistic.
It was the H-DNL’s 30th all-time in basketball.
In addition, the championship was St. Bernard’s ninth NCS crown, boys and girls combined, which is more than any other H-DNL school.
Ferndale is second with six titles combined, all in the past decade.
Historically, H-DNL girls programs have fared slightly better than the boys, with 16 titles now compared to the 14 by the latter.
The H-DNL girls have won seven NCS crowns in the past eight years after managing just one in the previous 22 years.