NORCAL PLAYOFFS — Crusaders keep rolling; Cubs, Cats bow out

File photo – Drew Vizenor and the St. Bernard’s Crusaders advanced to the NorCal semifinals on Wednesday night.

The St. Bernard’s Crusaders continued their impressive run through the postseason on Wednesday night, but it was a disappointing night elsewhere for the H-DNL.

The SB boys followed an impressive showing in Saturday’s North Coast Section championship game with a comfortable 88-47 win over Elliot Christian in Eureka to keep their season going.

The Crusaders, who are seeded No. 3 in the Division-VI bracket, will now travel for a semifinal showdown at Redding Christian on Saturday, after the No. 2 Lions edged South Fork 70-67 on Wednesday.

The loss for South Fork ends an impressive and historic season for the team, which won a first Little 4 championship in 29 years.

Two other H-DNL teams also saw memorable seasons end on Wednesday, both in the Division-VI girls bracket.

The No. 2 Ferndale Wildcats lost 54-44 at home to No. 7 Weed, while No. 6 South Fork fell 90-60 at No. 3 Valley Christian.

The Ferndale girls were one of the stories of the season here on the North Coast, following their Little 4 championship by winning an NCS crown over the weekend.

They also recorded a memorable victory over Eureka and finished out the season with a record of 19-4.

The South Fork girls close out 10-12, while the South Fork boys finished up 13-6

The St. Bernard’s boys, meanwhile, came out on fire and opened up a 30-9 lead after the opening quarter to quickly take control of their game.

“We came out in the first quarter and we made shots,” head coach Issac Gildea said. 

Drew Vizenor scored a game-high 26 points in the win, as the Crusaders improved to 22-8 on the season, while Owen Shanahan added 14 points and caused the visitors problems in the paint.

“His size was a problem for them,” the head coach said.

The home team led by 25 at halftime and Gildea was able to go deep to his bench with 11 different players scoring, including Aaiden Burris, who added 13 points.

“As usual he was just a spark for us off the bench,” Gildea said of Burris. “He’s been doing that all year.”

Demetrius Rawson also had a good night and finished with eight points, while Seth Dyer chipped in six points and Peyton Smith and Wyatt Simoni each had five.

“I just felt we did a good job the whole time with our energy,” Gildea said. “We’re really clicking at the right time.”

The South Fork boys, meanwhile, led for much of the second half of their game but the Lions rallied thanks to some outstanding shooting from senior guard Shane Harper.

Oliver Tatton, Ryder York and Tommy Rotbergs each finished with 15 points for South Fork and “all three of them played so well and hit big, big shots all game,” according to head coach Taylor Morrow.

“I am so proud of my team and what they did this year,” Morrow said. “I am looking forward to see what my seniors move on to in their life and I hope to be a part of it in what way I can.

“Next year we are looking forward to a repeat and improvement on this season.”

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