GIRLS BASKETBALL — Big night for Beach as Loggers win; Huskies up to third in B5

File photo – McKenna Beach scored a game-high 26 points in a win at Del Norte on Friday.

The Eureka Loggers are still unbeaten halfway through league play.

On Friday night, they improved to 4-0 in the Big 5 with a 56-33 win at Del Norte, with McKenna Beach leading the way once again.

Beach was on fire and finished with a game-high 26 points, all of them from open play, including four 3-pointers, as the Loggers responded well to a Tuesday night loss at Ferndale.

“Our defense was the best it’s been all year,” head coach Mike Harvey said. “We kind of had to refocus after Ferndale and I think the girls responded and played a lot better.”

No one more than Beach, who is enjoying an outstanding senior campaign and was a key contributor at both ends of the court.

Kira Morris, Payton Goodman and Mariah Napoleon each also impressed at the defensive end, while Moriah Bowles got her team going after a slow start that had them trailing early.

“Moriah Bowles had a great game,” Harvey said of the junior, who had eight points, all in the first half. “She kickstarted us. She was kind of the spark plug early.”

Napoleon also finished with six points, as Eureka improved to 14-7 overall.

Lili Nunez continued her impressive season for the Warriors and displayed plenty of poise at the free-throw line on her way to a team-high 17 points.

With the loss, a young Warriors team that is showing signs of improvement is now 1-4 in league play and 6-12 overall.

Fortuna 53, McKinleyville 47

The Huskies won for the second time in three league games and moved into the top three in the Big 5 with a victory over the Panthers at Fortuna.

The Fortuna girls started fast and opened up a 12-point lead at halftime, and they were able to hold on down the stretch thanks to some balanced scoring on offense.

Ronee Norwood scored a team-high 10 points in the win, while teammate Teal Mostovoy finished with eight points and Isobel Crosswhite seven.

Ashley Tully, Eunice Casas and Gabby Stephens each also had six points in the win.

“We played well as a team tonight,” head coach Tom Chapman said. “Our balanced scoring and free-throw shooting made the difference in the game.”

With the victory, which was their second in three games against McKinleyville this season, the Huskies improved to 2-3 in the Big 5 and 10-11 overall.

“The team got after it on the defensive end and made things difficult for McKinleyville in the half court,” the head coach said.

Camryn Pinard had a big night for the Panthers, who suffered their first league loss.

Pinard scored a game-high 19 points, including seven in the fourth quarter as the Panthers ate into the deficit, while teammate Morgan Stubbs finished with seven points and Kim Lewis and Raina Ausburn six each.

“The Panthers did a good job adjusting to our press and were able to get back in the game,” Chapman said. “It was another exciting high school basketball game.”

With the loss, the Mack girls are now 2-1 in the Big 5 and 6-7 overall.

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