While the Fortuna and St. Bernard’s girls were busy on Friday night securing league titles with victories over Del Norte and Ferndale, respectively, the South Fork boys were keeping their hopes of a championship alive.
The Cubs defeated Hoopa 76-73, handing the Warriors a third heartbreaking defeat in four league games.
A second win for South Fork over Hoopa on Monday would set up a championship-deciding showdown at St. Bernard’s next Thursday.
Also in action on Friday night, the McKinleyville girls lost 80-33 at Miramonte, while the South Fork girls beat Hoopa 53-45.
Eureka also won a thriller at Arcata, 75-71 in overtime.
For more on the Loggers’ win, see Loggers win overtime thriller at Arcata …
For more on Fortuna’s win, see Fortuna girls crowned Big 5 champions …
For more on St. Bernard’s win, see St. Bernard’s seniors inspire another title run …
South Fork 76, Hoopa 73
The Cubs kept their Little 4 championship hopes alive while also securing a place in this year’s Dick Niclai tournament.
Alex Harding again was instrumental for the Cubs, scoring a game-high 19 points, while teammate Riley Gallagher added 16 points and both Jayden Paine and Jesus Duran each chipped in 13.
For Hoopa, which dropped to 0-4 in league play but could easily be 3-1, Joesph McGinnis scored a team-high 17 points.
The Warriors battled back in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Cubs 25-19 for the period, and had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, only to see a 3-point attempt bounce off the rim.
“We came roaring back,” Hoopa head coach Craig Cornelson said. “But we ran out of time.”
John Smith scored 16 points for Hoopa and Tristin Campbell 14.
McKinleyville 33, Miramonte 80
Cameron Heenan led the way for the Panthers with 12 points, while teammate Hailee Henry finished with eight points.
The Panthers close out a three-game road trip to the Bay Area at Ygnacio Valley on Saturday.
McKinleyville is now 7-15.
South Fork 53, Hoopa 45
Kaylei Valk scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Cubs past the Warriors and give them their first Little 4 win.
Kaylee Cotter added 18 points for the South Fork girls, who can still qualify for the Dick Niclai tournament.
The Cubs’ full-court defense paved the way for the win, with freshman Summer Contreras coming away with nine steals.