By Ray Hamill — Defense has been key for the Ferndale girls all season long, and head coach Terra Albee is hoping that continues to be the case when they play for a North Coast Section Division-6 basketball championship on Saturday night.
The No. 1 seeded Wildcats will host No. 2 Cornerstone Christian at 7 p.m., and the team defense has been one of the main factors in the team’s success, with the Cats allowing just 33.4 points a game in their 18 wins, including just 26.6 in their three playoff games.
“I feel like it’s been the main reason for our success,” head coach Terra Albee said. “And I’m hoping we can continue that.”
Team chemistry has also played a role, with a deep roster playing well as a unit.
“I think we share the ball really well, and they just play really well together,” the head coach said. “We have pretty good team chemistry. They look for each other when we have the ball and they’re very unselfish and always trying to get it to the open player.”
The players are certainly looking forward to the occasion and should carry plenty of confidence and momentum in the biggest game of the year.
This is the program’s first NCS championship appearance since losing to St. Bernard’s in the 2015 Division-6 final, one year after the Cats had won a third straight section crown.
“The girls are excited,” Albee said. “And I feel like we’re prepared. We’ve had some good practices and the girls are feeling positive, so we’re excited.”
Cornerstone is 26-4 on the season and comes into the big showdown riding a 13-game winning streak, but at this stage of the season, if you’re lucky enough to be still playing, there are no easy matchups.
The Cats got to the championship game with playoff victories over Round Valley (53-21), California School for the Deaf (59-11) and South Fork (57-48).
Cornerstone defeated Potter Valley (53-40) and Mendocino (50-41), while also getting a forfeit win over San Francisco Waldorf in this week’s semifinal round.
The good news for the Cats is that they are fully healthy heading into the championship showdown.
Tip off is set for 7 p.m.
Tickets will not be available at the door and can only be purchased through GoFan.co.