Basketball

Ferndale boys appear ready to compete for L4

By Ray Hamill — A couple of months after ending a lengthy league title drought in football, the Ferndale Wildcats will be hoping to do the same in boys basketball.

The Cats have not won a Little 4 crown in the sport since 2011, but with a record of 9-3 through the first half of the season they will carry plenty of momentum into next week’s conference opener.

Head coach Dan Albee, however, knows there’s a long way to go and his team is far from the finished product just yet.

“We’ve been playing hard but we’ve got some areas we need to improve on,” the first-year head coach said. “But we’re working that way.”

Most notably, the head coach is looking for more consistency shooting the ball.

Defensively, however, the Wildcats have been working hard and showing some progress.

In their nine wins, the Cats have allowed 40 or more points just once.

This year’s Little 4, however, is expected to be a battle, and Albee isn’t expecting anything to come easy.

“I think anybody will be able to beat anybody on any night,” he said. “We’ve got a chance to win every game, but we’ve got to do the things we need to do.”

The Cats, who play at McKinleyville on Monday and at Arcata on Wednesday in their final Little 4 tune-up games, have some depth this season too.

Junior starting guards Emmitt Albee and Garrett Christiansen have impressed through the early going, as have fellow starters Javier Lopez, Jenner Christiansen and Tristen Martin.

Off the bench, Cody Sampson, Ryder Millsap, Wyatt Henrikson and Lane Branstetter have provided valuable minutes among others.

The Cats, who are on a three-game winning streak, most recently defeated Round Valley 68-13 two days after Christmas.

They open league play at South Fork next Friday.

Monday’s game at McKinleyville is set for 7:30 p.m.

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