By Ray Hamill — Former Fortuna and College of the Redwoods standout Sophie Northern returns to Humboldt County on Thursday evening to play at HSU.
Northern, a junior guard who is having a standout season at Sonoma State, has her team right in the mix for a conference tournament spot, and with just two games remaining, Thursday’s showdown will be a pivotal one.
The Seawolves star is just one of many locals who have had impressive seasons on the basketball court away from the North Coast, and she comes into the game averaging 11 points per game, second best on her team.
Northern also leads the Seawolves in free-throw percentage and 3-pointers, with 35 on the season.
Sonoma State, however, has struggled recently, dropping three straight and heightening the importance of tonight’s game.
The Seawolves are tied for ninth place in the conference standings, but just one win behind the three teams immediately in front of them.
Northern spent her freshman season at HSU, before transferring to College of the Redwoods as a sophomore, making Thursday’s return all the more personal for her.
Playoff run for Bonomini, Knights
Former Eureka standout Kayla Bonomini played her final game for Shasta College this week, capping a very impressive two years with the program.
This season, Bomonini led the team in scoring (14.8 PPG), free-throw percentage (83.3) and 3-pointers, with three a game.
She started all 26 games for the Knights, who closed out the season with three straight losses, including a 79-74 defeat to Mission in Wednesday’s NorCal Regional playoffs.
The Shasta women finished second to Siskiyous in the Golden Valley Conference, with a record of 7-3, while going 14-12 overall.
McCracken makes immediate impact at Whitman
Last year’s Big 5 MVP Kaylie McCracken closed out a successful freshman season at Whitman College last weekend.
The former Arcata Tiger averaged 7.6 points in her debut season at the collegiate level, helping Whitman to a second-place finish in the Northwest Conference, and a semifinal appearance in the conference tournament.
The Whitman women closed out the year 20-7.
McCracken was second on the team in 3-point percentage (.396) and third in rebounds with four a game.
She started 17 of the team’s 27 games.
Holland, Wildcats in the mix
Another former Tiger, Vanessa Holland, continues to make an impact with Chico State, which is also right in the thick of the chase for a CCAA tournament spot.
Holland has started every game since joining the Wildcats before last season, and is averaging seven points a game in her sophomore campaign.
She scored a season-high 19 points against Cal State San Bernardino on Valentines day.
She is also second on the team in 3-point percentage with an impressive .422 average.
Chico State is 9-11 in conference play (12-11 overall) and currently in sixth place in the standings.