BOYS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP — Local teams to play for tournament championships

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Arcata’s Brandon Bento-Jackson guards Eureka’s Jordan Urban during Friday’s game at the McKinleyville tournament.

A pair of local teams will play for a tournament championship on Saturday after another strong performance for each on Friday night.

At McKinleyville, the Panthers advanced to their own tournament championship for the second straight year with a comfortable 71-50 victory over Eagle Point.

In Lake County meanwhile, St. Bernard’s also advanced to the Upper Lake tournament decider with a dominating 70-29 win over Willits.

Several other H-DNL teams also were in action on Friday.

At the Mack tournament, Arcata defeated Eureka 76-46 in the opening game of the day, before Hoopa fell 70-53 to San Lorenzo.

At the Wheatland tournament, Fortuna lost a close one against Lincoln, falling 49-48.

At the Block F Tournament at Fall River, South Fork fell 54-48 to Trinity, one day after opening the tournament with a 62-19 victory over Modoc.

The Panthers, meanwhile, have impressed in the early season and are now 3-0.

Cody Whitmer scored a team-high 18 points in Friday’s win, while Jack Clancy finished with 14 and freshman Bode Douglas chipped in eight points.

The team defense was pivotal again, with junior Jordan Brown leading the way.

“Our team played pretty good defense,” head coach Cindy Semore Clancy said. “The teamwork is fun to watch and I think they’re enjoying themselves. We’re passing well and looking for the open player, and the defensive intensity is there.”

Brown also scored seven points, while Payton Harbin added six points.

The Panthers will play Cardinal Newman for the championship at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Check out Jack Clancy’s dunk for McKinleyville during Thursday’s tournament opener against San Lorenzo …


Arcata 76, Eureka 46

The Tigers bounced back from an opening-day loss at the McKinleyville tournament to beat Big 5 rival Eureka by a comfortable margin on Friday afternoon.

Arcata’s balanced offense was led by Luke Moxon, who scored a game-high 22 points, while teammate Jared Pereira finished with 12 points.

The victory lifts the Tigers to 2-1 on the season, while Eureka dropped to 0-2.

Jahmil Rippey scored a team-high 10 points for the Loggers, while Hans Chalmers and Evan Hodges each finished with seven points and Nelson Botzler Washington chipped in six.

Leading by four after the opening quarter, the Tigers took control of the game with a big second quarter and led 41-27 at the interval.

Luke Lemke, Kalani Butor and Josiah Gomez each also scored nine points for Arcata, while Brandon Bento-Jackson added eight points.

Both teams will close out tournament play on Saturday.

Arcata’s Dawson Vallerga

St. Bernard’s 70, Willits 29

The Crusaders will play the host school in the Upper Lake tournament championship on Saturday after a second straight lopsided win on Friday.

One day after beating Maxwell by 25 points in their tourney opener, the SB boys continued to dominate against the Wolverines in the semifinal round.

“I feel we were more patient on the offensive end,” head coach Issac Gildea said.

Aaiden Burris led the team offensively for the second straight night and finished with 24 points, while teammate Tyler Dimmick added 13 points and Seth Dyer 11.

Gildea was able to go deep to his bench, with all 12 players seeing significant minutes.

Owen Shanahan and Jack Stark each added eight points in the win, while Wyatt Simoni chipped in six.

Eagle Point 80, Hoopa 60

San Lorenzo 70, Hoopa 53

The Warriors dropped back-to-back games at the McKinleyville tournament on Thursday and Friday, losing to Eagle Point and San Lorenzo.

Brian Gulley had a big night for Hoopa in the tournament opener, scoring a team-high 21 points, including going 7-for-7 from the free-throw line.

Rodney Clarke added 17 points, while David Jackson finished with eight points and Brandon Romero six.

On Friday, the Warriors matched up well against the Grizzlies early in the game, but were unable to keep pace in the second half.

The Warriors are now 0-3 on the young season and will look to close out tournament play with a win on Saturday.

Lincoln 49, Fortuna 48

The Huskies dropped a close one at the Wheatland tournament on Friday after being outscored 16-8 in the fourth quarter.

Fortuna trailed by four at the interval, but took control of the game with a big third quarter and carried a seven-point lead into the final period.

The loss was the first in tournament play for the Fortuna boys, who got the better of Willows in their opener on Thursday.

The Huskies, who are now 3-2 on the season, will close out tournament play on Saturday.

South Fork 62, Modoc 19

Trinity 54, South Fork 48

On Thursday night, the South Fork Cubs defeated Modoc 62-19 at the Block F Tournament at Fall River, with 11 of their 12 players scoring.

The ever-dangerous Tommy Rottbergs led the way offensively with 17 points in the win, while teammate Jesus Duron added 13.

“We had great energy and definitely took a step defensively,” head coach Taylor Morrow said.

The Cubs were unable to match that on Friday, losing a tough one to Trinity.

Rottbergs continued to impress in the loss and finished with a hard-fought 23 points, including nailing three 3s for the third straight game.

Shevy Bero-Vanmeter also impressed and finished with nine points, while senior John Harding also had a big game and has grown into a “great senior leader,” according to Morrow, on both sides of the ball.

Early-season mental errors, however, cost the Cubs against a tough opponent.

South Fork plays for third place on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Crater 53, Del Norte 42

The shorthanded Warriors lost to a tough Crater team at the Yreka tournament on Friday evening, dropping to 2-2 no the season with their second loss in one day.

Head coach Cris Rice was missing four guards for the game because of sickness, but he was happy with the way his players battled.

“We held our own against a good Crater program,” he said.

Ethan Thomas scored a career-high 22 points in the loss and has been averaging 18 points through the early season, while teammate Cooper Maxwell “played this heart out,” according to the coach.

“The kids battled” Rice said, also praising the efforts of Brody Mattz and Kai Russell, as well as junior Merrick Crabb, who sparked the team in his first-ever varsity start.

Rice expects the Warriors to be a competitive defensive team one again this season.

On Thursday, the Warriors opened tournament play with a 38-33 win over Yreka, before falling to Etna 52-38 in a non-tournament game on Friday morning.

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