By Ray Hamill — The Eureka girls lost their opening game in the North Coast Section basketball playoffs on Tuesday night, falling 65-58 to Archie Williams at Eureka High.
The Loggers led by as many as 11 in the second quarter, but saw much of that advantage slip away when the visitors made a 9-0 run to pull right back into contention, and the Peregrine Falcons trailed by just three at halftime.
They then came out the stronger of the two teams in the second half and outscored Eureka 35-25 over the final two periods to pull out a well-deserved win in a tough Division-III bracket.
The Peregrine Falcons, who nailed back-to-back 3s midway through the fourth quarter to break a 49-49 tie and take control, will now move on to play West County in Friday’s quarterfinals.
The loss, as with any in the playoffs, was a disappointing way to end the season for the Eureka girls, but it was a memorable campaign for a program that won a Big 5 and Dick Niclai tournament double for the first time since 2004.
“After the last game of the year, you can’t reflect on one game in particular, you have to reflect on the whole season,” head coach Mike Harvey said. “I thought it was a successful season to achieve two of our three goals. The girls should be proud.”
Junior Kira Morris closed out her impressive season with another big showing, scoring 13 points and making her presence felt defensively, while teammate McKenna Beach scored 11 points in what turned out to be the final game of an outstanding season for the senior.
Payton Goodman, Amaya Gee, Aniah Gaither, Mariah Napoleon and Claire Maples all scored six points in what was a balanced offensive showing.
Carly Amburn scored a game-high 19 points for Archie Williams, while teammate Jada Shore chipped in 17.
With the loss, the Loggers close out with a record of 20-9 after a tough and challenging season.
“As far as strength of schedule, according to Max Preps, we played the toughest schedule of any boys or girls H-DNL team,” Harvey said. “The girls should be proud. Part of putting them in tough tournaments is to get experience and play great teams, and to push yourself to be the very best you can be, and I thought they did that. Overall they did well.”
Categories: Basketball, Eureka
Not sure strength of schedule comment by coach is appropriate because it begs the response that “ya still lost in round 1″… “SOS” ended up only helping against H-DNL teams it appears…maybe consider a harder non-league schedule in the future, but granted, it is hard these days with school sports being organized and providing opportunities…
…EHS is too big a school to lose in round 1 in D3… imho…
Lastly, in the future, it would be proactive to discuss the type, style, schemes of play… flex offense, 2-3 or 3-2 zones, M2M, box in 1, man-zone, post offenses, motion offenses, triangle offense, presses, …etc…
FTMP, if the athletes cerebrally get serious and do what a coach teaches, success will follow…and that is the crux with athletes…