Beyonce Bussell continued her recent good form on Monday night, as both the Hoopa girls and South Fork boys posted pivotal wins on the basketball court.
The Hoopa girls won at South Fork 63-54 to all but secure a place in this year’s Dick Niclai tournament, while the South Fork boys won at home to Hoopa 76-68 to keep their Little 4 championship hopes alive heading into their final game at St. Bernard’s on Thursday.
Also in action on Monday night, the St. Bernard’s girls got the better of Big 5 opposition for the third time in nine days, winning 57-31 at Arcata.
South Fork 76, Hoopa 68
After securing their second win over Hoopa in four days, the Cubs improved to 4-1 in the Little 4 and will play for a share of the conference championship at St. Bernard’s (5-0) on Thursday night.
Alex Harding was unstoppable once again, scoring 25 points in the win, while Carmeron Messenger added 16 and Oliver Tatton scored 14.
The South Fork boys took control of a tight game in the second half, overcoming a five-point halftime deficit.
The Cubs outscored the visitors 49-36 in the second half.
John Smith scored a team-high 16 points for the Warriors, who remain winless in the Little 4 at 0-5, but they have been competitive and have have lost three of those games in heartbreaking fashion.
Joseph McGinnis added 14 points in the loss, while Tavis Young finished with 12, Tristin Campbell nine and Javon Mitchell seven.
The Warriors close out the Little 4 at home to Ferndale on Thursday with plenty to play for.
A win will leave them tied with the Cats for third in the conference and force a playoff for the final Dick Niclai berth.
Hoopa 63, South Fork 54
The Warriors have been getting stronger as the season has progressed, posting their second conference win on Monday and all but sealing a spot in the Dick Niclai tournament.
Bussell was again instrumental in the win, scoring a game-high 27 points as the Warriors improved to 2-3 in the Little 4 with one game remaining.
The Warriors will host Ferndale (2-3) in their regular-season finale on Friday with second-place up for grabs.
Even with a loss, the Warriors are all but guaranteed at least a third-place finish, with South Fork (1-4) facing a daunting task at St. Bernard’s (5-0) in its finale.
Bussell clearly enjoys playing the Cubs, having also scored 24 points against them in a loss on Friday.
Carina Peterson also has enjoyed playing against them, scoring seven on Monday, after also finishing with 10 on Friday.
Naschewen Hunsucker, who has led the way all season long for the Warriors, also was inspirational in Monday’s win, pulling down 17 rebounds.
Kaylei Valk continued to impress for South Fork, finishing with a team-high 22 points, while Kaylee Cotter scored 19, including three 3-pointers.
South Fork hosts Fortuna on Wednesday night.
St. Bernard’s 57, Arcata 31
The Crusaders played outstanding defense on Monday night on their way to knocking off a third Big 5 opponent in nine days, after earlier defeating Eureka and Del Norte.
“They really got after Arcata’s shooters and rotated really well,” St. Bernard’s head coach Mark Gardner said of his defense. “It was great intensity from our perimeter defense.”
The Crusaders held the Tigers to single digits in scoring in three of the four quarters, including just 12 points in the second half.
Saulele Tanuvasa scored a game-high 20 points in the win as she continues to take the H-DNL by storm in her first high school campaign, while senior Mackenzie Finck, one of the most consistent players on the North Coast this season, scored 16.
Josie Peterson and Jordan Shelby each finished with six points for the Crusaders, who are now 19-5 on the season.
For Arcata, which dropped to 11-11, Zoie Andre scored a team-high nine points, while Bella Volz-Broughton chipped in five.