Basketball

St. Bernard’s girls fall to top seeds in NCS

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File photo – St. Bernard’s senior MacKenzie Finck

The St. Bernard’s girls bowed out of the Division-IV North Coast Section basketball playoffs with a 64-36 loss at No. 1 seed St. Mary’s on Saturday night.

The loss ends another very successful season for the defending Division-V section champs, who were moved up a division this year, and a season that saw them win a seventh straight Little 4 championship.

“Overall it was a tremendously successful season that exceeded my expectations for this team,” head coach Mark Gardner said. “I’m very proud of them all. It was a terrific senior group that accomplished a lot.”

On Saturday, however, they were just outmatched by a St. Mary’s team that is ranked No. 3 in the state in Division IV.

The Panthers opened up a 12-point lead by the end of the first quarter and doubled up on the Crusaders 34-17 going into halftime.

“We struggled against their pressure defense,” Gardner said. 

Despite the loss, the head coach was more than happy with his players’ efforts.

“The girls did everything we asked of them tonight,” he said. “We just ran into a better team.”

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Saulele Tanuvasa paced the Crusaders with 11 points, capping a sensational freshman campaign.

Influential senior MacKenzie Finck closed out her prep career with 10 points in the loss, while fellow senior Josie Peterson chipped in six points.

The SB girls close out 21-7.

Senior Marayah Tomlinson missed Saturday’s game due to injury, which didn’t help matters for the Crusaders, especially defensively.

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