It may have ended a few games earlier than hoped for, but it will go down as one of the greatest seasons in Fortuna girls basketball history.
On Saturday night, the No. 6 Huskies fell 44-30 at No. 3 Marin Catholic, bowing out of the Division-IV North Coast Section playoffs.
They battled to the end, cutting into a double-digit deficit in the second half, but the home team’s strong start to the game was too much to overcome.
“They were tough to handle in the first half,” Fortuna head coach Scott Betts said of the Wildcats. “We weren’t quite ready for their speed.”
The Huskies adjusted well, however, and were only outscored by one point in the second half.
“We were able to hang with them in the second half,” Betts said. “The girls didn’t give up.”
The season will be remembered as one for the ages, with the Huskies claiming a first Big 5 championship since the early 1980s and posting a first NCS playoff win in a decade.
And this was achieved on a team that featured just four returners this season.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” the head coach said. “I think the season was very successful. If you had told me before the season that we’d be 24-4, I would have taken that every day of the week and twice on Sunday.”
The varsity girls weren’t alone, with the program’s JV and freshmen squads each also winning a league title, and the three teams went a combined 23-1 in the Big 5.
All three teams won at least 20 games, so the future appears to be a bright one for the Fortuna girls.
Senior Charlotte Carroll led the way in Saturday’s loss, closing out an outstanding prep career with 12 points, while talented junior Gracie Betts added seven points and Moncerrat Bernal six.