St. Bernard’s girls win to set up big championship showdown

File photo – Lele Tanuvasa

The St. Bernard’s Crusaders held the host school in check offensively at the Mt. Shasta basketball tournament on Friday to keep their unbeaten start to the season going and set up a big championship matchup on Saturday.

The SB girls, who won 36-15 to go to 5-0 on the season, will play a tough Etna team in the decider and head coach Augie Valdez is expecting a battle.

“Etna’s very good,” Valdez said of the Lions, who knocked off Del Norte in their tourney opener on Thursday. “They’re very physical and big and they move the ball around and can shoot. It’s going to be a big matchup for us.”

Freshman Laila Florvilus continued her impressive debut season at the varsity level with another big game for SB on Friday, scoring a game-high 15 points, as the Crusaders quickly took control of the game and led 23-4 at halftime.

Lele Tanuvasa also impressed in the win.

“Her court vision is on another level,” Valdez said of the junior standout who had seven points. “She was making passes through people.”

Amayiah Her and Madelyn Shanahan each also scored seven and continued to contribute in other ways.

“We got the ball inside to Maddie a lot more, and getting her more of the ball is only going to make us a better team,” Valdez said.

Early in the game, it was obvious the Crusaders were going to out-match Mt. Shasta, so Valdez and his players decided to focus on their defense and defensive rebounding.

“I’m really proud of their effort and intensity,” the coach said.

Saturday’s championship game is set for 4:30 p.m.

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