Crusaders top Hoopa, as Ferndale girls crowned L4 champs

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Action from Tuesday’s game at St. Bernard’s

St. Bernard’s completed a league sweep of Hoopa in girls basketball on Tuesday night, handing Ferndale at least a share of the Little 4 championship.

One night after losing to Ferndale in league play, the Crusaders comfortably took care of business against the Warriors, running out to an 18-point lead at halftime and never looking back on the way to a 73-59 win.

Lele Tanuvasa was outstanding once again, following a 39-point performance on Monday with 35 points on Tuesday.

The win lifts the Crusaders to 3-2 in league play with one game remaining, while the Warriors dropped to 2-2.

The Ferndale girls, who did not play on Tuesday and are 4-0, can clinch the pennant outright with a win in one of their finals two games, both against Hoopa, on Wednesday and Friday.

The Crusaders, however, are playing some of their best basketball at an opportune time as they look forward to next week’s Dick Niclai tournament and the upcoming North Coast Section playoffs.

“We played better again,” head coach Augie Valdez said. “That’s back-to-back games where we’ve been doing the things we’ve been wanting to do all season.”

Laila Florvilus, who just recently returned from injury, also is finding her feet again and chipped in 11 points with an impressive showing, while Hannah Finck finished with nine points.

Emma Wilson, the team’s lone senior, scored six points and had another big contribution after being honored before the game on senior night.

Emma Wilson was honored before the game on senior night.

“We always talk about playing as hard as you can for as long as you can, and that sums up Emma,” Valdez said. “Her legacy to St. Bernard’s basketball is bering able to show others how to play. She never complains. She’s a leader.”

Tashee Tracy scored a team-high 17 points for the Warriors, who can still tie for the league championship if they sweep the two games from Ferndale this week.

If that happens and St. Bernard’s defeats South Fork on Thursday night, then there would be a three-way tie for the title.

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