By Ray Hamill — The Eureka Loggers are the most unpredictable team in the H-DNL, but when they get it right they certainly don’t disappoint.
That was the case on Saturday night, as they capped a busy up-and-down week with a 51-38 win at crosstown rivals St. Bernard’s, growing into the game as it went on and finishing strong.
“Overall I’m proud of the boys,” Eureka head coach Robbie Thompson said. “This was our fourth game in six days and I think they came out and played well.”
And they did so at both ends of the court, taking control in the third quarter when they outscored the Crusaders 20-10.
Cahliel Garner continued to set the tone for the Eureka boys, finishing with a game-high 20 points, 10 from play and 10 from the charity stripe.
Cahliel has emerged as a legitimate difference maker down the stretch of the season and the Loggers will need him at his best if they are to make any noise in the Dick Niclai tournament or in the North Coast Section playoffs.
“He’s the man, and his teammates trust him,” Thompson said of the senior.
He wasn’t, however, the only Logger to impress in front of a packed and very enthusiastic crowd, including a large section of Eureka students.
Jaeden Thayer also had a big night at both ends of the court, finishing with 12 points and combining with Trevor Bell and Jackson Giacone to hold St. Bernard’s standout Lane Thrap to just 12 points.
Ian Bennett also impressed, giving his team a spark off the bench with seven points. Bell chipped in six.
“What impressed me was them just finding a way to win,” Thompson said of his players. “I didn’t think it was pretty, but we willed our way to victory.”
Thrap was again instrumental for the Crusaders, as he has been all season.
So too was freshman Owen Shanahan, who has quickly established himself at the varsity level and continues to grow in stature.
“We are really loving Owen’s progress,” head coach Steve Thrap said. “The sky is the limit for that kid.”
Shanahan finished with eight points, while teammate Will Omey added six.
Overall, the head coach was more than happy with his players’ efforts.
“Once again I could not be prouder of my boys,” the head coach said, adding that “we definitely had them nervous for a couple of quarters.”
It was the second time this week the Crusaders matched up effectively with Big 5 opposition after also pushing Del Norte.
We showed that we could play with anybody on the North Coast,” Steve Thrap said. “So although we’re not happy with the outcome, we’re happy with the progress we’re making.”
Eureka is now 15-9 overall, while St. Bernard’s is 13-7.
In JV action, the Eureka boys defeated St. Bernard’s 79-53.