On Friday night, the Huskies closed out the Big 5 in much the same way they started it, pulling out a victory with another strong defensive performance.
It has become their trademark in what has been a phenomenal season for this team, and they don’t appear as if they’re close to being done just yet.
“Again we played really strong defensively, and down the stretch that’s what did it for us,” head coach Scott Betts said after a 51-44 win at Arcata.
The victory lifts the Huskies to 7-1 in the Big 5 and 22-2 overall, the program’s most wins in a season since 2009.
The league title is the program’s first in around three decades or more, and no one associated with the team appears to know exactly when was the last time they won the Big 5.
It also earns this team a No. 1 seed for next week’s Dick Niclai tournament, and a first-round bye, with their opening game on Thursday at home to either Ferndale or Hoopa.
Charlotte Carroll had a big game at Arcata, scoring a game-high 18 points and continuing to dominate inside as she has all season long.
Junior guard Gracie Betts also had a big game, finishing with 16 points, including three 3-pointers.
Senior guard McKenzie Emmons added nine points, including a pivotal 3-pointer late in the game when there was little to separate the teams.
Emmons scored seven of her tally in the fourth quarter.
Fellow senior Morgan Murray also was instrumental in the win.
One of the team’s most consistent defenders all winter, Murray took a big charge in the second half that her head coach described as huge, and one that inspired her teammates and epitomized her team’s stellar defense.
Gabby Stephens chipped in five points in the win.
With the loss, Arcata dropped to 3-5 in the Big 5 and into a three-way tie for third with Del Norte and McKinleyville.
The Tigers will be part of a three-team, two-game playoff to see which of them gets the No. 3 seed for next week’s Dick Niclai tournament.
The Arcata girls play at Del Norte on Saturday night at 7 p.m., with the winner of that game playing at McKinleyville on Monday.
Jocelyn Bliven continued to impress with 11 points in Friday’s loss, with Tatum Carlin adding 10 points.
Zoie Andre and Bella Volz-Broughton each finished with seven points and Grace Talty five.
Arcata is now 11-13 overall.