By Ray Hamill — The Fortuna Huskies are not backing down from anyone.
On Thursday afternoon they opened the Lady Panther Classic with another hard-fought win, edging out a good St. Bernard’s team 36-34 with another resilient performance.
“They just keep fighting and fighting,” head coach Scott Betts said. “Seven of our games have been super close and the girls just hang in there.”
The Huskies led 24-18 at halftime of Thursday’s game, but the Crusaders refused to go down easily themselves, remaining within touching distance all game long and almost scoring the tying basket on the final possession.
St. Bernard’s freshman standout Saulele Tanuvasa sparked the late charge with nine of her 14 points coming in the fourth quarter after getting in foul trouble early.
The Crusaders outscored their Big 5 opponents 11-8 in the final quarter.
“We’re going to learn from this and move forward and get better,” said St. Bernard’s head coach Mark Gardner, whose team is now 8-2.
McKenzie Emmons and Gracie Betts each finished with seven points to lead a balanced Fortuna offensive performance, while Charlotte Carroll added six points.
Saige Grundman and Morgan Murray each also played well, finishing with five points each, the latter providing a spark at crucial times.
“She knocked down shots when we needed them,” the head coach said of the tenacious Murray. “She’s just played outstanding so far this year.”
The high-flying Huskies have also developed a more patient side since the start of the season.
“The biggest thing that’s developed for us is just their patience,” Scott Betts said. “We were run and gun for a while, but we’ve started slowing it down and we’re not turning the ball over as much.”
The Huskies will play Yreka on Friday at 7 p.m., while the Crusaders will play Eureka at 4 p.m.