The Arcata Tigers continued to roll on Friday as they improved to 6-0 with a comfortable 80-47 win over Las Plumas at their own tournament.
The victory sets up a championship showdown against Montgomery at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
“We came out the same way we came out the last couple of games with our pressure and defensive intensity,” head coach Kellen Maynard said. “The guys realize that defense is what we’re going to hang our hat on.”
That high-pressure defense set up a big opening quarter as Arcata outscored Las Plumas 29-8 to quickly and decisively take control of the game.
Brandon Bento-Jackson continued to set the tone at both ends of the court and finished with a game-high 22 points, while Alex Jioras had his best all-around game of the season and chipped in 13 points.
“He played hard the whole game,” Maynard said of Jioras. “He finished at the basket, which is what we were missing.”
Luke Moxon, Sam Trewartha and Carson Tucker each also finished with 10 points, as the Tigers had five players in double digits in scoring and had all but two players score.
All of Saturday’s games at the Arcata tournament have been moved up because of the expected storm in order to allow the visiting teams travel home earlier.
Saturday’s action gets under way at 12:30.
McKinleyville 65, Eureka 59
Cody Whitmer and Owen Hamm continued to pick up the slack for a McKInleyville team that is battling some injury concerns early in the season.
Whitmer scored a game-high 21 points and Hamm added 19 as the Panthers won a tight game against Eureka at the Arcata tournament.
“Eureka’s very athletic and they’ve got some pretty good size, but I felt we ran our offense a little better than last night,” McKinleyville head coach Cindy Semore Clancy said. “And I think that was enough to get us the win.”
The Panthers are still missing some shots but kept the turnovers down.
Hans Chalmers scored a team-high 19 points for the Loggers, who dropped their seventh straight game and are now 1-7.
Caden Vance added 12 points and Ean Savage and Jordan Urban scored eight each.
“We played a lot better than we did last night,” Eureka assistant coach Andrew DeHart said. “We’re testing out some rotations and we got some big minutes from some players.
“We played a lot quicker and we were able to finish some plays that didn’t work for us last night.”
Brayden Craven gave the Panthers (2-3) a big spark off the bench, while Whitmer and Hamm continued to play a pivotal role with injuries affecting the squad early in the season.
Connor Alto is missing through injury and Jack Clancy is limited.
“We knew they were capable of that,” the head coach said of Whitmer and Hamm. “They’re really picking up their game.”
Jamin Guilbert also had a big game for the Loggers.
“He was a force down low,” DeHart said. “He got a lot of rebounds and played some real tough D inside.”
The Loggers conclude tourney play against Red Bluff at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, while the Panthers close out at 2 when they match up against Fortuna.
Fortuna 53, Red Bluff 45
Jordin Bourne scored a team-high 21 points as the Huskies defeated Red Bluff by eight points at the Arcata tournament on Friday.
The Huskies came out strong and led 18-0 before the Spartans got on the board, but they had to hold on late as Red Bluff chipped away at the lead to make things interesting in the second half.
RJ Rexford continued to impress in the win, adding 16 points, as Fortuna improved to 4-3.
Clutch free throwing helped seal the win, as the Huskies made good on 9 of 11 attempts at the line.
Fortuna will close out tourney play against McKinleyville on Saturday at 2 p.m.
St. Bernard’s 59, Mt. Shasta 54
Seth Dyer led the way for the Crusaders on Friday night, as they beat the host team at the Mt. Shasta tournament to advance to Saturday’s championship game.
Dyer finished with 22 points, including six 3-pointers, as the St. Bernard’s boys remained unbeaten on the season and improved to 5-0.
Five of Dyer’s 3s came in the second half, including one with a minute remaining to break a tie.
“Big-time shot maker,” is how head coach Issac Gildea described Dyer.
The consistent Drew Vizenor also continued to play well and added 13 points, while Owen Shanahan finished with 11 points and Demetrius Rawson seven.
The Crusaders will play for their second tournament championship of the young season at 1:30 p.m.