GIRLS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP — Loggers celebrate their seniors; Tigers qualify for Niclai

File photo – Payton Goodman was one of four Eureka seniors honored before Tuesday’s game.

With the Big 5 championship secured last week, the Eureka Loggers celebrated a talented senior class in their final home game of the regular season on Tuesday night.

Seniors Ellie Pesch, McKenna Beach, Payton Goodman and Amaya Watson were all honored before the game and saw substantial playing time in a 40-35 win over McKinleyville.

“They’re all leaders and they’re all good kids,” head coach Mike Harvey said of the four. “And they’re going to have a fantastic future, and we’re excited for all of them.”

All four of them played a pivotal role this season on the way to the program’s first outright league title in at least two decades.

With the win, the Eureka girls close out the Big 5 with a record of 7-1 and they are now 18-8 overall, as they get set for next week’s Dick Niclai tournament.

Kira Morris scored a team-high nine points in the win, all of them in the second quarter, while Beach finished with eight points and Claire Maples had seven.

Aniah Gaither also continued to play well and finished with six points, while Pesch chipped in five points.

“The seniors all got lots of time and they all did good things,” Harvey said. “And we played good defense and McKinleyville played tough too.”

Senior Kathryn Tinney scored a game-high 12 points for the Panthers, who dropped to 2-5 in the Big 5 and 6-12 overall, but remain in the hunt for a Dick Niclai berth.

Morgan Stubbs also continued to impress for the Panthers and scored 11 points, while Gabby Watson chipped in five points.

McKinleyville will close out league play at Del Norte on Thursday.

Arcata 51, Del Norte 44

The Tigers secured a place in next week’s Dick Niclai tournament with a seven-point win at home to Del Norte on Tuesday.

With the win, which was their sixth in seven games, the Arcata girls improve to 4-3 in the Big 5 and 13-8 overall.

A victory over Fortuna (3-4, 12-12) in their final league game on Thursday will see them finish alone in second in the final Big 5 standings, while a loss to the Huskies would see both teams tie for second and advance to the Niclai tourney.

McKinleyville and Del Norte are both 2-5 in league play but remain in the hunt for the third and final Niclai berth ahead of a Thursday matchup between the two in Crescent City.

Whoever wins that game must hope Arcata can defeat Fortuna, which would then leave them tied with the Huskies for third.

The ever-dangerous Nora Talty led the Tigers with 19 points in Tuesday’s win, while fellow sophomore Alia Prentiss added 14 points.

Arcata senior Vivian Cronin chipped in 10 points.

Lili Nunez continued her outstanding season for the Warriors with a game-high 20 points, while Brooklyn Carter finished with 11 points.

The Warriors dropped to 7-14 overall.

Fortuna 57, South Fork 32

The Huskies got balanced scoring in a non-league win over visiting South Fork on Tuesday night.

Ten of their 11 players scored in the victory, as the Huskies improved to 12-12 on the season.

Isobel Crosswhite scored a team-high 14 points in the win, while Haylee Youkey finished with 13 points and Ashley Tully had 12.

“We did a really nice job moving the ball on offense and finding the open player,” head coach Tom Chapman said. “We shot the ball well tonight and did a great job rebounding.”

Caidence Young continued to impress for the Cubs and scored a game-high 15 points, while teammate Macy Yarbrough chipped in seven points.

With the loss, the Cubs dropped to 8-9 on the season.

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