NCS RANKINGS — One local team on the rise ahead of big league showdown

File photo – The Ferndale Wildcats celebrate their tournament championship at Kelseyville last month. The Cats will play St. Bernard’s in a key Little 4 game on Friday.

By Ray Hamill — Two H-DNL teams remain No. 1 in their division in the North Coast Section basketball rankings this week, according to MaxPreps, while there’s a new top-ranked H-DNL girls team.

Despite their loss at McKinleyville late last week, the Arcata boys remain at No. 1 in Division 4, while Big 5 rivals Del Norte moved up one spot to No. 4 in the same division, followed by McKinleyville at No. 9 and Eureka at No. 14.

The Ferndale girls also remain at No. 1 in Division 6, as they begun their Little 4 campaign with a comprehensive win over South Fork on Wednesday night.

The Wildcats, who also remain No. 3 in the state in D-6, are scheduled to play a key Little 4 game at St. Bernard’s on Friday night in a game that could go a long way towards deciding this year’s championship.

There is a change in the overall NCS rankings for the girls this week, with Eureka moving ahead of St. Bernard’s after opening the Big 5 with three impressive wins.

The Loggers are now No. 23 overall, while remaining at No. 6 in Division 3, with the Crusaders one spot back at No. 24 in the overall rankings and No. 4 in Division 4.

The Wildcats, who are 9-2 on the season, are the third highest local team in the overall NCS rankings, moving up four spots this week to No. 44, three places ahead of No. 47 Arcata.

The H-DNL is expected to feature heavily in this year’s NCS girls Division-4 playoff field, with four teams currently ranked in the top 13 in the division.

In addition to No. 4 St. Bernard’s, Arcata is No. 7, Fortuna is No. 12 and Mack is at No. 13.

For the boys, Arcata remains the top H-DNL team in the overall NCS rankings, coming in at No. 18 this week, four spots down from last week.

Del Norte is next best at No. 30, followed by McKinleyville at No. 42 and St. Bernard’s at No. 60.

The Crusaders remain at No. 2 in Division 6, trailing only San Francisco Waldorf at No. 1.

The SB boys suffered a surprise loss at Hoopa last week, but they remain No. 3 in the state in D-6.

South Fork also is highly ranked in D-6, coming in at No. 5 in the section and No. 8 in the state.

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