By Ray Hamill — Hard work is paying off for Javier Lopez and the Ferndale Wildcats, who knocked off the top-seeded Crusaders in an exciting Division-VI NCS semifinal on Wednesday night.
Lopez had a game-high 20 points in the win, including scoring the winning basket in the dying seconds, to lead the Cats to a 46-45 victory they won’t easily forget.
“Early in the season he struggled against everybody,” Albee said of Lopez. “But to his credit he’s worked really hard. He’s always in the gym, working on his shooting, and he’s regained his confidence and he’s playing really well for us.”
Junior Jenner Christiansen had a couple of sensational plays in the fourth quarter, including a wonderful move to break out of double coverage and go the length of the court for a layup, as well as a full-court assist on a Lopez basket.
Check out both plays and all the fourth quarter highlights here.
It was the program’s first win over St. Bernard’s since 2015, ending an 11-game losing streak to their biggest league rivals.
The Ferndale players were ready from the get-go, coming out the stronger of the two teams and opening up an 11-point lead early in the second quarter.
The Crusaders, to their credit, battled back, gradually reeling their opponents in and tying the game in the dying seconds of the third quarter to set up an epic final period.
Check out some of the fourth-quarter highlights here, with both teams battling back and forth in front of a loud crowd, with great support from both sets of fans.
For more on the game, see Lopez leads the way as Cats win an NCS thriller …