By Ray Hamill — The St. Bernard’s boys will welcome Valley Christian to Eureka for a Division-6 championship showdown on Saturday night, as they look to secure a first North Coast Section title since 2015.
The Crusaders are the No. 2 seeds and have the honor of hosting the decider after No. 4 Valley Christian knocked off No. 1 South Fork in the semifinal round on Wednesday night.
So the trip to Humboldt will be the second in a few days for the Dublin-based school.
And St. Bernard’s head coach Issac Gildea is looking for his players to play a composed game and limit the mistakes.
“They’re really well coached, and they don’t make mistakes,” Gildea said of the Vikings, whom he was able to watch in the semifinals at South Fork. “They’re strong with the ball and they’re super active with their hands.”
The Crusaders will present plenty of problems themselves and a deep and talented roster that comes into the game with a record of 20-8.
“We’re going to play our game and try to limit our turnovers and try to capitalize on every opportunity we can,” Gildea said.
It should also be a great occasion for the St. Bernard’s fans, with tickets for the game only available through GoFan.co and not for sale at the door.
The Crusaders reached the championship after playoff victories over Calistoga (74-34) and Mendocino (82-45), and a forfeit win over San Francisco Waldorf in the semifinals.
The Vikings, meanwhile, posted victories over Point Arena (78-37), Credo (54-44) and South Fork (69-62).
The latter was a thrilling showdown as the Cubs battled back from a 20-point fourth-quarter deficit to pull within one, before eventually falling.
Saturday’s game is set for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on MIX 95.1 FM, with the pregame showing getting started at 6:45 p.m.