By Ray Hamill — All told, Wednesday wasn’t a bad night for North Coast basketball.
In addition to a pair of championships secured by College of the Redwoods, nine of the 12 local high school teams won their opening matchups in the North Coast Section playoffs, many of them in dominating fashion.
And that gives the H-DNL a total of 10 teams moving on to the weekend quarterfinals.
The Eureka boys had the most dramatic win of the night, coming from behind against Fort Bragg with a buzzer-beating basket by Cahliel Garner, one of several seniors instrumental in the win.
The Del Norte and Arcata boys each also won their Division-IV matchups, with both teams closing out their games strong.
That gives the Big 5 three of the final eight in the Division-IV quarterfinals, although all three of them will have to travel for the occasion.
The Little 4 also will have three teams in the quarterfinals in Division VI, after St. Bernard’s, Ferndale and South Fork all comfortably won their opening games, and all three of them will host on Saturday.
And that means all six of the H-DNL boys teams in action in this year’s playoffs are moving on.
In girls action, St. Bernard’s and Fortuna each won their Division-IV games at home and will advance, while Del Norte and McKinleyville suffered season-ending defeats on the road in the same bracket.
In Division VI, Ferndale is moving on after defeating Jewish Community, while South Fork lost to Drew.
But the biggest draw of the night was at CR, where the Corsairs secured a first-ever double of basketball championships in front of another packed house, with both teams dominating Shasta on the way to clinching a GVC title.
For the men, the championship is their fifth ever and fourth outright, while for the women, it was a first conference title since 1980.