By Ray Hamill — This week we honor a couple of Fortuna athletes who have played a pivotal role in leading their respective teams to a conference championship this season.
Huskies senior Charlotte Carroll is enjoying an MVP-type season in girls basketball and has dominated inside against the rest of the Big 5 all winter, helping the Fortuna girls to their first conference championship in more than three decades.
Carroll and the Fortuna girls open the NCS playoffs at home to Terra Linda on Wednesday night.
Former Fortuna standout Drew Gillette is our second athlete of the week, as he continues to set a blistering pace in his freshman season playing basketball at CR.
Gillette stepped up big on Saturday afternoon in a conference-clinching win at home to Feather River.
This week also features co-teams of the week, with a pair of deserving champions getting the nod.
Both the Del Norte boys and Eureka girls were each crowned Dick Niclai Champions in basketball on Friday night, and that earns them our co-team of the week honors.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Fortuna Basketball, Senior
Carroll has been instrumental in the Huskies’ big season, and was in top form once again in Friday’s Dick Niclai championship, despite her team’s loss.
Carroll scored 10 points in a low-scoring championship, playing a crucial role at the defensive end by frustrating the Loggers all night long.
Carroll also scored a go-ahead basket on a wonderful move to the hoop in the final seconds, before the Eureka girls re-took the lead.
CR Basketball, Freshman
Gillette scored 29 points in Saturday’s 94-78 win over Feather River, a victory that secured at least a share of the Golden Valley Conference championship for the Corsairs.
The CR freshman scored 19 of his tally in the second half to help lift his team out of a sluggish start to the game.
He has been one of the Corsairs’ most dangerous weapons offensively all winter, as well as one of their most complete players.
Gillette and the Corsairs can clinch the GVC title outright with a win at home to Shasta on Wednesday night.
For more on Gillette’s big weekend, see Corsairs closing in on history …
TEAMs OF THE WEEK
Del Norte Boys Basketball
Eureka Girls Basketball
The Warriors and Loggers won a Dick Niclai championship in very different ways on Friday night, with the Eureka girls rallying late in dramatic fashion, and the Del Norte boys gradually pulling away in a dominating performance.
Both were impressive in their own way and each of these teams will be expected to carry plenty of momentum into the NCS playoffs.
The win for the Del Norte boys gives them a Big 5 and Niclai double, and sees them improve to 23-1 on the season.
The win for the Loggers was their first in the H-DNL tournament since 2004 and only their second ever.
For more on the Warriors’ big win, see Dominant Del Norte overwhelms Arcata in Niclai decider …
For more on the Loggers’ big win, see Eureka girls dig deep to claim Niclai title …