By Ray Hamill — It’s been a record-breaking season for at least one former H-DNL player playing college basketball, with Eureka’s Kaylee Murphy continuing to set new standards at UC Santa Cruz.
Murphy, who is her sophomore campaign playing for the Banana Slugs, broke the school’s single-season record for rebounds, and she did it with several games remaining.
Her 282 boards this winter are already 42 more than the previous school record.
And the former Logger continues to get better.
On Sunday she pulled down a season-high 23 rebounds in a game against St. Katherine, while also scoring 18 points.
Her 12.8 boards a game is ninth best among NCAA Division-III players in the nation.
For her career, Murphy has already amassed 509 rebounds.
She is also averaging 13 points and 3.4 assists for the 12-11 Santa Cruz women.
McCracken, Whitman continue to rise in the rankings
Former Arcata High standout Kaylie McCracken is also enjoying a stellar campaign playing basketball for Whitman College, which is up one spot to No. 7 in the NCAA D-III national rankings this week.
The Blues are 19-2 on the season and closing in on a championship with an 11-1 record in the Northwest Conference.
McCracken has been a force off the bench for the Whitman women, scoring a game-high 15 points in a 73-58 win over Lewis & Clark this past weekend, as well as pulling down five rebounds.
The 2018 Tigers graduate is averaging 10.7 points a game in her sophomore season, third best on the nationally-ranked team.
She is also averaging 6.7 boards a game, second best on the team.
McCracken and the Blues are two games clear at the top in conference play with four games remaining, and they appear poised to make some serious noise in the playoffs.
They host second-placed George Fox in a pivotal game on Friday.
Northern to play her old team one final time
Fortuna native and Arcata High graduate Sophie Northern is closing out her college basketball career with a bang and enjoying plenty of success as a senior with Sonoma State.
Northern scored a season-high 20 points in a 77-66 win over San Francisco State on Saturday to help keep the Seawolves in contention for a top-three finish or better in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Northern, who was with Humboldt State for one year out of high school before transferring to College of the Redwoods, will play the Lumberjacks at Sonoma State this coming Saturday.
The senior guard hit on 4-of-7 3-pointers against San Francisco and has 26 3-pointers on the season, second best on the team.
Northern also has a team-best 26 steals.
The Seawolves are 14-8 on the season and 10-7 in conference, and Northern has started all 22 games.
Napoleon’s season heating up at Oregon Tech
Former Eureka standout Makaila Napoleon is starting to have a big impact playing basketball at Oregon Tech, where she has started the past four games.
The college freshman scored 18 points in a 94-89 loss to Southern Oregon over the weekend, her second highest points tally of the season, including a 10-for-10 performance at the free-throw line.
She is averaging seven points a game, but has gotten stronger as the season has progressed, and has averaged more than 11 points over the past seven games.
The NAIA Owls are 15-7 overall and 9-7 in Cascade Collegiate Conference, currently tied for fifth in the standings.