The Big 5 is going to go down to the final night of action, with a huge showdown now set for Crescent City on Wednesday night.
On Friday, both Arcata and Del Norte took care of business and improved to 5-1 in the Big 5 with two games remaining, including a championship matchup between the two of them at Del Norte on Wednesday, with the winner guaranteed at least a share of the title.
“It’s going to be a slugfest,” Arcata head coach Kellen Maynard said. “It’s going to be a good one.”
On Friday, the Tigers defeated Eureka 68-41 at Arcata High, while Del Norte won 58-33 at Fortuna.
Brandon Bento-Jackson paced the Tigers offensively and finished with a game-high 22 points, while teammate Carson Tucker added 18 points.
“When we needed plays to be made, Brandon and Carson made them for us tonight,” the Arcata coach said.
The Tigers again looked a little sluggish on offense, but once again they more than made up for that with some strong defense.
“We played pretty well,” Maynard said. “We missed a lot of easy shots, but our defense was solid. Our defense was on point tonight.”
Kai Purcell also had a good night and scored 10 points as the Tigers improved to 19-3 overall.
Evan Hodges scored 11 for Eureka, which dropped to 1-6 in conference and 7-14 overall, while teammate Caden Vance chipped in 10 points.
Edwin Zepeda, meanwhile, continued to shine for Del Norte, scoring a game-high 24 points at Fortuna, while Nani Scott added 12 points and Adriel Horton 11.
Westyn Fitch also had a big game off they bench in the win, finishing with seven points.
Wit the win, the Warriors improved to 15-4 overall, while the Huskies dropped to 1-6 in the Big 5 and 9-15 overall.
St. Bernard’s 79, Ferndale 48
The Crusaders moved back into a tie with South Fork for the Little 4 lead with a comfortable win over Ferndale on Friday night.
“We played with a little energy,” head coach Issac Gildea said. “We made some shots and played pretty good basketball.”
Drew Vizenor scored a co-game-high 21 points and was once again instrumental in the win, while Aidan Dorsch had a huge game distributing the ball.
“The kid made every single pass,” Gildea said of Dorsch. “He probably assisted on 80 percent of our shots when he was in the game.”
Demetrius Rawson also had a good night and finished with 12 points, while Owen Shanahan and Demarte Prudhomme each had seven points.
Aaiden Burris returned to the SB lineup after missing the past couple of weeks with an ankle injury and had an immediate impact, scoring 11.
“He was a really big spark for us off the bench,” Gildea said.
Seth Dyer chipped in eight points as the Crusaders improved to 3-1 in league play with two games remaining and 14-6 overall.
South Fork is also 3-1 in league play.
Kannon Christiansen scored a game-high 21 points for Ferndale, while Jack Westfall added 13 points and Thomas Fergison had eight points.
The Cats dropped to 0-4 in league play and 3-12 overall.