Basketball

Eureka girls cruise in NCS playoff opener

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Photos by Ray Hamill/HumboldtSports.com – Eureka’s Bella Vigil in action on Tuesday night.

By Ray Hamill — The Loggers showed absolutely no hangover effects from an emotional win in Friday night’s Dick Niclai championship, comfortably taking care of business in the opening round of the North Coast Section playoffs on Tuesday night.

The Eureka girls took control of the game early and never relented, defeating Sonoma Valley 67-29 in front of a home crowd at Jay Williard Gymnasium.

The win sets up a quarterfinal showdown at Campolindo on Friday night for the No. 6 seeded Loggers, who improved to 21-9.

The visiting Dragons were really only in this game for the opening few minutes, before the Eureka girls decisively pulled away to end it as a contest long before halftime.

“I thought we played with a lot of energy,” Eureka head coach Michael Harvey said. “We started a little slow, but then we just started rolling, and at that point there was no stopping us.”

The win was the fourth straight for the Loggers, who again played some outstanding defense against an overmatched opponent.

“Our press was key,” Harvey said. “They couldn’t handle our press, and we got a lot of points in transition.”

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Eureka’s Keylei Carroll

Malia Guilbert led the way offensively for the Loggers, who went on a 24-0 run in the opening half and led 41-12 at halftime.

Guilbert scored a game-high 16 points, including 11 in the first half, and was particularly effective in the second quarter when she began to dominate inside.

Bella Vigil continued to inspire her teammates with her tenacious play, finishing with 11 points, and also had a big impact in the second quarter.

Carly Boyton also had a big night, chipping in nine points, while Sophia Chalmers and Aquene Tollefson each had six points, the latter going 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

“There were so many good performances,” Harvey said. “We had 12 girls score and most of them scored significantly.”

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Kellina Pratton added four points, while Keylei Carroll, McKenna Beach, Madi Broese, Amaya Watson and Ellie Pesch each chipped in two points.

“It was a good game to get everyone lots of minutes, because they haven’t had a lot of minutes in league,” the head coach said.

Campolindo is seeded No. 3 in the Division-III bracket, three spots ahead of the Loggers, who are ranked 26 spots ahead of the Cougars in the MaxPreps state rankings.

The top-eight seeds in the bracket all advanced to Friday’s quarterfinal round, with No. 2 San Marin or No. 7 Analy awaiting the winner of Eureka’s game.

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