By Ray Hamill — A number of local players are continuing to impress in the college ranks, although many of their recent schedules have seen postponements and cancelations because of COVID protocols.
Three former H-DNL players will face off next week, when Simpson University travels to Santa Cruz on Jan. 20.
Former Eureka Logger Kaylee Murphy and the D-III Santa Cruz women will be playing their first game of the year after seeing a pair of postponements last week.
Murphy is enjoying another outstanding season for the 8-2 Banana Slugs and is averaging a double-double.
The 2018 Eureka graduate is scoring 14.2 points a game and pulling down 13.2 rebounds, and also leads her team with 4.8 assists a game and 1.7 blocks.
Former Arcata Tiger Breesia Northern and former Eureka Logger Kayla Bonomini are both playing for Simpson, an NAIA program in Redding.
The Red Hawks (2-10) have seen their past three games either postponed or canceled and have not played since Dec. 19.
Northern, who played two years at College of the Redwoods before joining the Red Hawks, has started 11 of the 12 games this year and leads her team 10.9 points a game and is second with 25 assists and 15 steals.
Bonomini is averaging three points a game in limited minutes.
Former Arcata Tiger Kaylie McCracken is also enjoying a big season playing for the Whitman College Blues, who are 10-1 and the No. 7 Division-III team in the nation.
McCracken and the Blues have not played since a Dec. 20 loss to Santa Cruz, their first defeat of the season, but are scheduled to return to action at home to Pacific Lutheran on Friday.
The 2018 Arcata graduate has played a big role for the team this season and is averaging team-highs in points (16.7) and rebounds (10.5).
Former Eureka High and College of the Redwoods standout Bobbie Purify is also enjoying a good season with the William Jessup Warriors.
After seeing a New Year’s eve game against Simpson canceled, Purify and the Warriors returned to action last week and suffered back-to-back losses to Westmont College and The Master’s University, two top-10 NAIA teams.
After coming off the bench for the opening seven games of the season, Purify has started the last 12 games for the 8-11 William Jessup women, and she is averaging 4.8 points a game.
Purify is also coming off her best game of the season at Holy Names recently, where she scored a season-best 14 points on 5-for-5 shooting from the field.
Another former Eureka Logger, Alana Busby-Dunphy, is playing at the Division-I level and has appeared in five games this season for the Florida A&M women.
Busby-Dunphy transferred from Alabama to play for the Rattlers, who are 2-12.
The former Logger leads her new team with eight blocks.
At the JC level, meanwhile, a pair of former McKinleyville Panthers continue to impress for Marin College.
Freshmen Victoria Claros and Kayley Armstrong have both been starting all season for the 2-12 Mariners, who will try to break a four-game losing streak at Laney on Thursday.
Claros leads the Bay Valley Conference in 3-point shooting percentage (37.9) and is second on her team with 12 points a game, while Armstrong is averaging 5.9 points and leads the Mariners in field goal percentage (46.8).
Over in the Golden Valley Conference, three College of the Redwoods players feature in the top five in conference in 3-point shooting percentage.
Former Arcata Tiger Ashley Quigley, who is second in the GVC with 20 points a game, is shooting 43 percent from 3-point range, which is tops in conference.
Teammate Kathryce Danzuka is shooting 33.7 from 3-point range, which is third best in conference, while Rachel Valdez is fifth in the GVC with 33.3 percent.
As a team, the Corsairs are No. 13 in the state out of 92 teams in 3-point field goal percentage (31.6).
Two former Fortuna Huskies are also making some noise at the collegiate level.
Charlotte Carroll is playing at Lewis & Clark and is averaging 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds for the 7-6 Pioneers, who dropped a pair of games last week.
Carroll has started 10 of 13 games for the Pioneers, who play again at Pacific on Friday.
Down at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, her former Fortuna teammate McKenzie Emmons has played in 12 games for the 7-6 Cougars.
Emmons has started three games and is averaging 4.7 points and 2.1 assists.