By Ray Hamill — It’s been a school year of outstanding freshmen performances here on the North Coast, and that has continued into the basketball season where St. Bernard’s newcomer Saulele Tanuvasa has been inspirational so far for the Crusaders.
And speaking of outstanding freshman, College of the Redwoods’ Donald Willis continues to thrive at the collegiate level, where he has become an integral part of a very good CR team this winter.
Both Tanuvasa and Willis are coming off big performances over the weekend leading their respective teams to conference-opening victories, and that earns both the nod as this week’s Humboldt Sports Athletes of the Week.
Willis also gets inclusion in this week’s honors as part of the team of the week, as his Corsairs continue to thrill the local community and have now won nine straight games.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
St. Bernard’s Basketball, Freshman
Tanuvasa has been an instant success at the high school level, and has played a key role in the Crusaders’ success this season.
The versatile freshman, who can play any number of positions well, is averaging 17.9 points a game on 44 percent shooting, along with 6.6 rebounds and 3.2 steals, all four of them team highs.
Tanuvasa continued to impress on Friday night, scoring a game-high 28 points in a conference opening victory over Hoopa.
For more on Tanuvasa’s big weekend, see No slowing down the Crusaders in L4 opener …
CR Basketball, Freshman
Willis was one of several Corsairs to up their game in an 89-81 win over Butte in front of a packed house at CR on Saturday, and was instrumental in a second-half surge.
Willis, making his first start at point guard for the team, relished the occasion with 24 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The former Fortuna High standout has quickly adapted to the collegiate game.
For more on Willis’ big day, see Corsairs serve notice with thrilling win in front of packed house …
TEAM OF THE WEEK
CR Men’s Basketball
This might not be the last time you see these guys mentioned here this year.
In addition to Willis, Drew GIllette stepped up huge in the win, scoring 25 points to go with four rebounds, three assists and three steals, and was 9-of-11 shooting.
Isaac Puzz, Zac Claus, Thomas Nelson and Bradley Willis each also impressed in what was a statement win over a highly-ranked Butte team.
The Corsairs have now posted three wins over top-20 teams this season and are leading contenders for a conference championship.
For more on the CR men, see Redwoods men and women both climb in the polls …