By Ray Hamill — The Eureka Loggers sent out an early-season warning to their Big 5 opponents this weekend, sweeping all three of their games at the Logger Classic and displaying a growing maturity with each outing.
On Saturday, they defeated Shasta 55-47 in the championship game, overcoming a rocky second quarter and a seven-point halftime deficit with a big second-half rally.
Team defense keyed the comeback, as Eureka held the visitors to just five points in the third quarter and just 20 for the half.
“You’ve got to be proud of them, being down and dealing with things,” Eureka head coach Robbie Thompson said of his players. “They just stuck together the whole way and were calm and rode the highs and lows. I was proud of them.”
Senior guard Trevor Bell was again instrumental in the win, and was named tourney MVP after an outstanding few days.
“He had a great weekend, and he’s having a great season,” Thompson said.
Cahliel Garner was also named all-tournament, finishing with 14 points in Saturday’s win, as did standout sophomore Jackson Giacone, who continues to play at a level you don’t expect from such a young player.
Mile Meynell contributed 10 points off the bench, as the Loggers improved to 7-3, while Jaeden Thayer also continued to impress.
“Jaeden had a good weekend, and Jackson did some good things too,” Thompson said. “All in all, it was a great team effort.”
Through the early season, the Eureka boys have looked like legitimate Big 5 contenders at times, but inconsistency has plagued this group at the December tournaments, as it does many teams at this time of year.
As they start to put together some more consistent performances, however, the Loggers are fast becoming one of the stories of the season here on the North Coast.
They came out strong for the second straight day against a good Shasta team that beat Fortuna in Friday’s semifinal round.
But the Wolves started to take control of the game in the second quarter, outscoring the home team 15-6 for the period to lead 27-20 at halftime.
The second half, however, largely belonged to the Loggers, who outscored the Wolves by 11 in the third quarter and continued to stretch the advantage down the stretch.