The St. Bernard’s and Del Norte boys remained undefeated in league play with road wins on Wednesday night, as each closed out the first half of conference play undefeated.
The Crusaders won 63-51 at South Fork, handing the Cubs their first league loss, while the Warriors won 52-38 at McKinleyville to go to 4-0 in the Big 5.
The Arcata Tigers defeated visiting Fortuna 57-40 to go to 3-1 in the Big 5 and remain right on the Warriors’ heels, while the Ferndale Wildcats posted their first L4 win at Hoopa, edging out the home team 59-57.
Del Norte 52, McKinleyville 38
The Warriors pulled away late from a tough young Panthers team, outscoring Mack 17-5 in the fourth quarter to remain alone atop the conference standings.
“We had a good fourth quarter. We finally made some shots,” Del Norte head coach Marc Slayton said. “But credit to McKinleyville. They played tremendously hard.”
Omar Banuelos led the Warriors with 24 points, while Judson Pincombe finished with 11 points and Kaleb Price and Damian Dowd six each.
All in all, it was not a great performance by the Warriors, according to their coach.
“We found a way to win in the fourth quarter,” he said. “We survived long long enough, held on long enough.”
McKinleyville, which dropped to 0-4 in the Big 5 at the halfway stage, was led by Michael Boatright with 15 points, while both Earl Moon and Jack Clancy each finished with six points.
Del Norte (15-1 overall) hosts Eureka on Friday, while McKinleyville plays at Fortuna.
Arcata 57, Fortuna 40
The Tigers kept their championship ambitions well on track with a comfortable win over the Huskies.
Mason Railsback paced the home team with 12 points, while Marcus Bensen added nine.
For Fortuna, Fernando Atilano scored a game-high 19 points.
With the win, the Tigers are now 14-7 overall, while the Huskies are 2-2 in league and 9-12 overall.
St. Bernard’s 63, South Fork 51
The Crusaders continued to roll with their sixth straight win, while handing the Cubs their first league loss.
Lane Thrap led the way offensively for St. Bernard’s (3-0 in the Little 4), finishing with 18 points, including 16 in the second half as the visitors slowly took control of the game.
Freshman Owen Shanahan and junior Remy Campbell each chipped in 11 points.
“Not the prettiest win of the year, but we’ll take it,” St. Bernard’s head coach Steve Thrap said. “Pretty flat in the first half but came out with a lot more intensity in the second half and tried to pull away, but South Fork just wouldn’t let it be.
“They played great and it was a good game despite being ugly.”
The Crusaders (14-5 overall) led by six at halftime and by nine after three quarters.
For South Fork, which dropped to 1-1 in the Little 4 and 10-7 overall, Alex Harding continued his outstanding season with a game-high 22 points, while Tyler Bates added 14 points, and Oliver Tatton and Cameron Messenger six each.
The St. Bernard’s JVs also beat South Fork in a close game, winning 58-55.
SB travels to play at Hoopa on Friday, while South Fork plays at Ferndale.
Ferndale 59, Hoopa 57
The Wildcats ended a four-game losing streak and got their first L4 win in the process, barely edging out the Warriors in Hoopa.
Emmitt Albee was instrumental again for the Cats, finishing with 23 points in the win, while teammate Jenner Christiansen added 14 points.
Joseph McGinnis led the home team with 16 points, while Carlos Aguilar added 12 and Tristin Campbell eight.
With the win, the Wildcats improved to 1-2 in the Little 4 and 13-8 overall, while the Warriors are now 0-2 and 3-15.
Hoopa hosts St. Bernard’s on Friday night, while the Cats welcome South Fork to Ferndale.