The Arcata Tigers won their opening game at the McKinleyville tournament on Thursday night, holding on late to edge Eagle Point 50-47.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Arcata boys, who led by 20 points in the third quarter and appeared to be cruising towards a comfortable win before allowing their opponents come storming back late.
“Our defense kind of let up and we just kind of lost our intensity,” Arcata head coach Kellen Maynard said. “But give credit to Eagle Point. They buckled down and played hard the whole game. They really put the pressure on us and really made us work for it.”
Freshman Luke Moxon stepped up big-time late in the game, nailing a pair of pressure free throws to put the Tigers up by three with 15 seconds remaining in the game.
Brandon Bento-Jackson led the Tigers at both ends of the court, scoring a team-high 20 points and coming up with a big defensive stop as time expired to seal the win.
Kai Purcell also had a good night and was clutch for the Tigers, scoring 13 points, including a big 3-pointer in the final minute.
Moxon, who appears ready to have an immediate at the varsity level, finished with seven points.
“At the end of the day we figured out a way to win” Maynard said. “We did a lot of good things for it being our first tournament game.”
The Tigers continue tourney play against Lincoln on Friday at 7 p.m.
Hoopa boys fall to Lincoln
The Hoopa Warriors dropped their opening game at the McKinleyville tournament on Thursday, falling 83-42 to Lincoln.
Brendan Baldy and Brian Gulley each scored a team-high 10 points in the loss, as the Warriors continued a tough early season schedule that has seen them play a lot of bigger schools in the opening couple of weeks.
“We started off a little too slow and dug ourselves a hole that we just couldn’t get out of,” head coach Roman Hutt said.
The Lincoln pressure caused the Warriors problems early in the game, especially the play of their athletic guards, but Hutt believes his players are showing signs of progress and is hoping the tough early schedule will benefit them when league play rolls around.
The team also has been missing a number of key contributors for various reasons over the first two weeks.
“There’s definitely some progress, especially now that we’re getting most of our players back,” said the first-year head coach, who is still without two players.
Baldy has been a consistent threat inside through the early going, while talented all-around athlete Lane Campbell also has been playing well.
Fortune Early College 67, Eureka 58
The Loggers lost for the second straight day at the NorCal Tip-Off Tournament in Rocklin, falling 67-58 to Fortune Early College.
Caden Vance led the way offensively in the loss, finishing with 18 points while teammate Hans Chalmers added 16.
There was little to separate the two teams in the first half and they went into the break deadlocked at 32-32.
Fortune Early College, however, got the better of exchanges in the second half, outscoring the Loggers in each of the third and fourth quarters to pull out a nine-point win.
Kai Dixon added seven points for Eureka, which dropped to 1-3.
The Loggers will continue tournament play on Friday.
Fortuna 60, St. Helena 45
The Huskies posted their second straight win on Thursday, defeating the host school at the St. Helena tournament by 15 points.
Alfonso Medina scored a team-high 22 points in the win, while teammate Russell Pascascio added 12 points and Dylan Moorehead-O’Loughlin chipped in eight.
St. Bernard’s 75, Willits 41
The Crusaders tipped off he new season with a big win at the Lake County Tournament.
Owen Shanahan scored a team-high 18 points in the win, while teammate Seth Dyer added 16 and Aidan Dorsch 12.
Nine different players scored in a balanced team performance in the win.
Drew Vizenor added nine points and Cayden Lee and Dominic Kofi each had six.
Fort Bragg 54, South Fork 51
A big second-half rally came up just short for the South Fork Cubs in non-tournament action at Fort Bragg, as they battled back from a 22-point halftime deficit to pull within three in the final minute.
Oliver Tatton continued his impressive start to the new season with a team-high 21 points, including 18 in the third quarter to kickstart the rally.
Tatton, who also had a big game at Potter Valley earlier in the week, hit four consecutive 3s.
Tanner Curran also had a big night, finishing with 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and playing tough defense against the Timberwolves’ best player.
John Harding chipped in eight points and also had a good all-around game for the Cubs, who dropped to 1-1.
The Ferndale Wildcats also won on Thursday, defeating Roseland Prep 70-40 at the Calistoga tournament.
The Ferndale boys are now 2-0.
No other details were immediately available.