Huskies win an overtime thriller to set up big finale at Arcata

Submitted photo – The Fortuna Huskies stand to attention during the national anthem on Thursday night.

The Fortuna Huskies celebrated senior night in boys basketball with a thrilling 57-54 overtime win over Del Norte on Thursday night.

The victory lifts the Huskies to 2-1 in the Big 5, and they can now match Arcata (3-0) and McKinleyville (3-1) for the best record in league and a share of an unofficial championship with a victory at Arcata on Saturday.

The Fortuna boys started strong and dominated the first half to lead by 20 early in the second half.

But the visiting Warriors came storming back, outscoring the Huskies 17-9 in the fourth quarter to force the overtime period.

Del Norte almost snuck the victory in regulation, but Fortuna’s Jaden Kelley nailed a big 3-pointer to tie the game with just four seconds remaining.

Fortuna stepped up once again in overtime, outscoring the Warriors 10-7 to secure the victory and improve to 5-2 on the season with one game remaining.

Branson Gans scored a team-high 19 points in the win to go with nine rebounds and five assists, while teammate Bo Cox added 10 points and six rebounds and had a big game defensively

Chaz Schlesiger chipped in eight points and Kelley and Angel Ornelas had six apiece, with Ornelas also providing his trademark stellar defense.

Edwin Zepeda led the Warriors with 20 points while Caleb Dodson added 16 points and Judson Pincombe 11.

The loss was the second straight overtime defeat for the Warriors, who close out the season 5-3 overall and 1-3 in the Big 5.

The Del Norte JVs won their matchup, while the Fortuna freshmen continued their impressive campaign with another victory

Saturday’s varsity game at Arcata is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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