Arcata, St. Bernard’s advance to Dick Niclai semifinals

File photo – The Arcata girls will play Ferndale on Wednesday.

The Arcata Tigers and St. Bernard’s Crusaders both won their Dick Niclai tournament openers in girls basketball on Monday night to advance to Wednesday’s semifinals.

At Arcata High, the Tigers defeated McKinleyville 57-35, recording their fourth win in four games against their rivals this season.

At St. Bernard’s, the Crusaders got the better of Hoopa for the third time in three matchups this season, winning 63-39.

“I thought we played solid,” St Bernard’s head coach Augie Valdez said. “We played well in spurts.”

Lele Tanuvasa was key once again for the St. Bernard’s girls and finished with a game-high 26 points, while raising her play every time Hoopa tried to make a run.

“It’s great to have a player like that who can help spark our offense and get us going,” Valdez said of the junior standout. 

Madelyn Shanahan and Emma Wilson each also had big all-around games, including 10 points from Shanahan, while Laila Florvilus chipped in nine points.

The win sets up a semifinal showdown at Eureka.

“It was a nice tune-up game for what I hope will be a good game on Wednesday,” the St. Bernard’s coach said.

Alyssa Gulley, Taylor Cole and Tashee Tracy each scored six points for Hoopa.

The Tigers, meanwhile, got the better of Mack on the way to their eighth win in nine games, and they did it with a strong defensive effort.

“Our defense has kept us in games,” head coach Doug Oliveira said. 

Senior Grace Talty was instrumental in leading the defensive performance.

“She’s kind of our leader on defense,” the head coach said of the senior. “She’s our defensive director. She holds down the middle of our defense.”

Nora Talty scored a game-high 18 points in the win, while Caroline Dieker finished with 11 points.

The victory sets up a semifinal showdown against the Ferndale Wildcats, who are 7-0 against H-DNL opponents this season.

“They’re a good team and we’re going to have to play better,” Oliveira said. “We’re going to have to bring our best game to compete with them.”

Kathryn Tinny scored a team-high 11 points for McKinleyville, while Morgan Stubbs finished with nine points.

Wednesday’s games are set for 7 p.m.

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