Tigers keep their Big 5 hopes alive with another win over Mack

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Arcata’s Lily Rust-Kelley looks to set up a play during Tuesday’s game at Mack High.

The Arcata Tigers took a big step toward a Dick Niclai berth and kept their Big 5 championship hopes alive with a comfortable 65-42 win at McKinleyville in girls basketball on Tuesday night, their second win over the Panthers in two nights.

After defeating the Panthers 61-53 in a make-up game at home on Monday, the Arcata girls followed that with a comfortable 23-point win at Mack High just 24 hours later.

With the win, they improve to 3-2 in the Big 5 (11-7 overall) and they can take a big step toward a league championship with a win at Eureka on Thursday.

“Finally we’re back together now and we’ve got all 12 girls,” said Arcata head coach Doug Oliveira, whose team has been battling COVID protocols for the past few weeks, similar to the rest of the H-DNL. “It seems like a new season.”

The Tigers have now won three straight in league play and four straight overall, and they are building some momentum heading into the business end of the season.

After staring slowly in Monday’s matchup against the Panthers, the Tigers came out far stronger on Tuesday and led 10-1 midway through the first quarter.

They stretched the advantage to 21 by halftime and there was no way back for the Panthers after that.

Nora Talty scored a game-high 26 points in the win and teammate Alia Prentiss finished with 16 points.

Malanie Luh added seven points and Vivian Cronin finished with six.

Morgan Stubbs continued to impress for the Panthers and scored a team-high 18 points, while teammate Kathryn Tinney finished with eight points.

The loss was the fourth in five days for the busy Panthers, who dropped to 2-4 in league play and 6-10 overall.

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