By Ray Hamill — It was a big week for the Fortuna Huskies, who got the better of two of their main Big 5 rivals to clinch a first conference championship in girls basketball in more a decade.
Under first-year head coach Scott Betts the Fortuna girls have enjoyed a stellar campaign, winning 20 games and holding a 6-1 record in the Big 5 with one game remaining.
The question now is can anyone stop them in next week’s Dick Niclai tournament?
Thomas Nelson, a former Arcata Tiger who is enjoying an outstanding season with the College of the Redwoods men’s basketball team, also is coming off a big weekend after leading the Corsairs to another conference win.
Likewise with MacKenzie Finck of St. Bernard’s, who has played a key role in leading the Crusaders to a seventh straight Little 4 championship.
And that earns both of them the nod for this week’s athletes of the week.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
CR Basketball, Sophomore
Nelson has been outstanding all season long for the high-flying Corsairs, leading the team in points per game (18.9) and rebounds per game (7.5).
He is shooting a remarkable 53 percent from the floor, and led the way once again over the weekend with 24 points in a 75-58 win over Lassen.
For more on Nelson and the Corsairs, see CR men step up defensively against Lassen …
St. Bernard’s Basketball, Senior
One of six Crusaders honored on senior night last week, Finck will be missed as much as any of them.
Finck is one of two team captains and one of the most reliable players on the North Coast, and she has been inspirational all season long for the Little 4 champions, both with her play and her leadership.
Finck is a talented multi-sport athlete, who also stars in soccer, volleyball and softball.
For more on Finck and the Crusaders’ big week, see St. Bernard’s seniors inspire another title run …
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Fortuna Girls Basketball
The Fortuna Huskies have been the best prep girls basketball team on the North Coast all season long, and that continued this past week as they battled to two very impressive wins to seal the Big 5 title outright with a game remaining.
Several different players have contributed this season, none more so than seniors McKenzie Emmons, Charlotte Carroll and Morgan Murray, and junior Gracie Betts, all of whom have been consistently outstanding, leading the way on a very good defensive team.
For more on the Huskies big week, see Fortuna girls crowned Big 5 champions …