Arcata

GIRLS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP — Statement win for Ferndale; first Big 5 win for Del Norte

File photo – The Ferndale girls celebrate a tournament win earlier this season. The Cats improved to 2-0 in the Little 4 with a 57-47 win over St. Bernard’s on Friday.

The Ferndale Wildcats are on a roll and showing no signs of slowing down.

On Friday night, they improved to 2-0 in the Little 4 and 10-2 overall with a statement win over league rival St. Bernard’s, winning 57-47.

“It was a huge win. We’re stoked,” head coach Terra Albee said. “We played super gritty and really tough.”

Haidyn Fulton was outstanding at both ends of the court and finished with a game-high 29 points in the win, while teammate Reaghan Langer scored 10 points.

“We knew this was going to be a challenging game, and I felt like the girls stepped on the court ready to play,” Albee said. “The girls played outstanding team defense throughout the game.”

“They ran on us pretty well tonight. They moved the ball offensively,” St. Bernard’s head coach Augie Valdez said of the Wildcats. “I tip my hat to Ferndale. They did a very good job in taking away things we normally do.”

The Crusaders, who dropped to 1-1 in the Little 4 and 7-3 overall, started the stronger of the two teams, but the Cats made the necessary adjustments and broke a halftime tie with a strong second half.

Lele Tanuvasa scored a team-high 22 points for the Crusaders, who were missing three key players from an already small roster.

But Valdez wasn’t using that as an excuse and was impressed with how well prepared the Wildcats were.

“I felt Ferndale played a very, very good basketball game,” he said. “They have a very good basketball team and they pressured us into situations we weren’t prepared for.”

Madelyn Shanahan continued to impress for St. Bernard’s, scoring 14 points and making her presence felt throughout.

“Maddie played great tonight,” Valdez said. “She’s such a tough kid. We’ve just got to find ways to get her the ball more because when we do good things happen.”

The two league favorites will meet again in two weeks time in a game that could very well decide the Little 4 championship.

“The game is about runs and it was hard for us to match their runs,” Valdez said. “But it was a good learning experience for us. I was really proud of our team in terms of effort. We’ve just got to play smarter.

“I think defensively we’re a lot better than we showed tonight.”

Del Norte 58, Arcata 54

Del Norte sophomore Anyessa Bettega stepped up big late in the game to help lead her team to its first Big 5 win, scoring 10 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors led by as many as eight early in the final period, but saw the Tigers claw their way back to tie the game with two minutes remaining.

Bettega then gave her team a 56-54 lead and the Warriors would hold on down the stretch, improving to 1-2 in league and 6-10 overall.

The talented sophomore finished with five 3-pointers and scored all but two of her team’s points in the fourth quarter.

Teammate Lili Nunez also was instrumental in the win and finished with a game-high 22 points, as well as 13 rebounds and 10 assists, while Gianna Taylor finished with 10 points.

The Talty sisters, Grace and Nora, led the way for the Tigers, who have not seen a lot of action in recent weeks.

Senior Grace Talty finished with a team-high 20 points, while her sophomore sister added 16 points, as the Tigers dropped to 0-2 in league play and 7-7 on the season.

Alia Prentiss also had a good night offensively and finished with 11 points in the loss, while teammate Caroline Dieker scored seven points.

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