The Arcata boys continued to roll on Friday, overcoming a slow start at the Red Bluff tournament for the second straight day on the way to a 63-49 win over a dangerous University Prep team.
Senior Kai Purcell, who is enjoying a big season, scored a team-high 18 points, as the Tigers took control of the game with a big second quarter.
“We didn’t start off well. We didn’t have energy,” head coach Kellen Maynard said. “And University Prep, they’re scrappy. They’re very physical. They didn’t go away, and they played us tough in the second half.
“They made our guys work for it, and I was very proud of our guys for the way they responded.”
With standout freshman Luke Moxon sidelined through injury and the impressive Josiah Gomez limited after suffering a hand injury early, Carson Tucker stepped up and played a pivotal role in the win at both ends of the court.
Tucker finished with 13 points, while Isaiah Levy added 11 points.
Brandon Bento-Jackson also had a big night distributing the ball despite being the focal point of the University Prep defense.
“He made a lot of good decisions tonight,” Maynard said of the junior point guard. “Even though he wasn’t scoring a lot tonight, his ability to affect the game is phenomenal.”
The Tigers, who are now 9-0, will play for the tourney championship against a very good Pleasant Valley team on Saturday at 2:30 p.m and Maynard says he is expecting their toughest challenge of the season thus far.
Del Norte 48, Durham 45
The Warriors won a close one at the Andeson tournament on Friday night to set up a championship showdown against Oakmont on Saturday.
Edwin Zepeda and Nani Scott each scored a team-high 11 points, while teammate Ethan Thomas added nine points.
All three also had good nights rebounding the ball.
With the win, the Warriors improved to 6-1 on the season.
Saturday’s championship game against a Division-II Oakmont team that has won each of its two tourney games by 40 points will be a good early-season test for the Warriors.
Eureka 64, Brookings-Harbor 56
The Loggers broke open a tight game with big second and third quarters on the way to an eight-point victory at the Logger Classic on Friday.
With the teams tied after the opening quarter, Eureka outscored the Bruins by eight points in both the second and third quarters to open up a 16-point advantage heading into the fourth.
Caden Vance continued to impress with a team-high 17 points in the win, as the Eureka boys improved to 3-8.
Hans Chalmers also continued to impress and added 18 points, while the in-form Jamin Guilbert chipped in seven points and had another good game inside.
“It was a hard-fought game, but we turned it up in the second and third quarters and held onto the lead,” Eureka head coach Jimmy Rodgers said.
Payton Harbin and Evan Hodges both also had big games at the defensive end.
The Loggers continue tourney play on Saturday.