By Ray Hamill — The Eureka seniors were honored before Wednesday night’s tough loss to Fortuna, although all four of them still have some unfinished business to take care of before they say goodbye just yet.
A 50-41 defeat that essentially saw any hopes of a league title disappear was a disappointing way to celebrate Senior Night, and it didn’t help that it was their third home defeat in seven days.
Head coach Michael Harvey and his players, however, must regroup quickly with another huge showdown now looming at Arcata on Friday night.
“We’ve got to hold our heads up,” Harvey said. “We’re still 16-8. It was a painful three-game losing streak, but like we told the girls, we’ve still got a lot to play for.”
Check out highlights of all four seniors in action from Wednesday’s game, as well as a 3-pointer by McKenna Beach.
With just two league games remaining, the Loggers (3-3 in the Big 5) are in a tight race with Arcata (3-2) and Del Norte (2-3) to finish in the top three in the Big 5 — along with Fortuna — and qualify for the Dick Niclai tournament.
And that heightens the importance of Friday’s game.
The Loggers also are still hoping to make some noise in the North Coast Section playoffs.
And that’s something that gives the four seniors honored before Wednesday’s game plenty of motivation as they get set to close out their high school careers.
All four — Sophia Chalmers, Malia Guilbert, Kellina Pratton and Carly Boynton — have had an impact on the team this season, with each playing a big role.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to coach all four,” Harvey said. “They’re very different, but all four are great kids.”
Harvey describes Pratton as a “thinker” out on the court, and the senior guard is one of the smartest players on the team and has established herself this season as a very reliable point guard.
Likewise Guilbert has taken her game to a whole new level this season.
“She’s made the biggest stride from last year to this year,” Harvey said. “She’s done great things for us inside.”
Boynton too has shown plenty of improvement in her senior campaign, while working as hard as anyone during the offseason.
“Carly is an absolute sweetheart and she has a ton of talent,” the head coach said.
Perhaps no one, however, has had a bigger impact than Chalmers, who really started to come into her own late in her junior year and has kept that going ever since.
“She’s the leader of our team,” Harvey said. “She’s the engine that makes our team go.”
Regardless of what happens over the next few weeks, this year’s senior class has left its mark.
“I’m just so proud of all four,” Harvey said.