The Eureka Loggers moved within one win of a Big 5 championship with a 49-38 win at McKinleyville in a make-up game on Saturday night.
The win lifts the Eureka girls to 5-0 in conference play and they can clinch at least a share of the championship with a win at Fortuna on Tuesday night.
They didn’t have their best night offensively against the Panthers and they trailed early in the game before taking control.
But they made up for any offensive shortcomings with another strong defensive performance.
“We played phenomenal team defense,” assistant coach Jesse Genero said. “And once we got the lead there was no looking back.”
Aniah Gaither scored a team-high 17 points in the win as the Loggers improved to 15-7.
“Aniah was just a monster inside,” Genero said. “It was one of the better games I’ve seen from her.”
McKenna Beach also had a good night and finished with 14 points, while Kira Morris added nine points.
Surprisingly, only five Eureka players scored.
Check out the second-quarter highlights below …
“Our team defense is keeping us in games when we’re not shooting well,” Genero said.
Morgan Stubbs continued to impress for the Panthers, who dropped to 2-2 in the Big 5 and 6-8 overall.
Stubbs finished with a game-high 18 points, while teammate Camryn Pinard added nine points.
Arcata 67, St. Bernard’s 43
The Tigers and Crusaders faced off for a second time this season at St. Bernard’s on Saturday night, and this time around it was the Arcata girls who got the win.
Nora Tałty led a strong offensive performance by the Tigers and finished with 19 points, while Alia Prentiss scored 18.
“They shot the ball extremely well,” St. Bernard’s head coach Augie Valdez said of the Tigers. “And defensively we just couldn’t keep up with them.”
Grace Talty also had a good night in the win and finished with 13 points, as the Tigers improved to 9-7 on the season.
Lele Tanuvasa paced the home team offensively with 19 points, while Madelyn Shanahan chipped in eight points and Emma Wilson scored six.
The Crusaders started the stronger of the two teams and led 10-0 before the Tigers got going, but once they did there was no turning back.
“Fatigue kicked in,” Valdez said. “It looked like we were playing in quick sand. It’s just one of those games and I think it’s a great learning experience. I think we’re a lot better than the score indicates.”
The Crusaders, who got the better of the Tigers 71-62 earlier in the season, dropped to 8-4.