COVID protocols pushed back the opener for eight days, but the Tigers began a short two-week campaign with a comfortable victory.
“It was a little rusty, a little rocky,” Arcata head coach Doug Oliveira said. “But the kids played really hard, which kind of made up for playing a game without practicing for 10 days.”
Zoe Andre led the way offensively with 15 points, while Olivia Railsback added nine and Lily Rust-Kelley had eight.
“Overall I was pleased,” the head coach added. “The first game is always an adventure anyway, and hopefully we got that out of the way.”
Hoopa was led once again by Taylor Cole, who scored 14 points, while teammate Tatena Miguelena added four points.
This year’s Arcata team features three seniors, including Andre and Tatum Carlin, each of whom are in their third season with the varsity team.
Fellow senior Maia Perry is also back from last year’s team, along with influential junior Grace Talty.
Talty was held scoreless at Hoopa, but the junior post player brings a lot more than that to the table.
“We can’t play without her,” Oliveira said of the third-year varsity standout.
The seniors have been setting the tone in the preseason and for the opening game.
“They’re all really solid leaders,” the coach said of the trio. “And it helps with our younger kids.
“It’s just a great group of young ladies. They’re great people. They come to practice and they work hard every day.”
The roster is young, with several underclassmen.
Next up, the Tigers host South Fork on Thursday, before hosting St. Bernard’s the following night.