By Ray Hamill — Former Eureka Logger Bella Vigil will return to the North Coast on Saturday, as the College of the Redwoods women’s basketball team prepares to play conference favorite Butte College.
Vigil, a 2021 Eureka High graduate, is in her second season with the Roadrunners, who are among the top teams in the state this winter.
The tenacious shooting guard has seen just limited minutes on a deep and talented roster, but she has made her presence felt on and off the court and continues to play a key role for the team.
“She is a great kid and one of my favorite kids I’ve ever coached,” Butte head coach Tyler Newton said. “She really embodies everything our program is about. She’s a great teammate, she works hard and she always has a positive attitude.”
The respect the Roadrunners have for the former Logger is reflected in the fact she is a team captain this year.
“Everybody is drawn to her as a teammate,” the head coach added.
Vigil has appeared off the bench in 10 games for the 15-3 Roadrunners, including a pair of 11-point performances against Yuba and East Los Angeles in the team’s last five games.
For the season, Vigil is averaging 2.7 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
And when she returns to the North Coast, the former Eureka Logger will also get to renew her rivalry with a few other former H-DNL players, including Fortuna’s Gracie Betts, Kendall Stewart, Lily Shelton and Gracie Betts, as well as Del Norte’s Molly Slayton, all of whom are playing for CR.
Unfortunately for the Corsairs, Vigil might not be the only Roadrunner fired up for the occasion.
The Butte women, who play their opening three Golden Valley Conference games on the road, lost their conference opener at Feather River last week by a score of 72-61 and Newton says his players are eager to redeem themselves.
“We’re fairly young, we’ve got three freshmen playing a lot of minutes for us, and I try to explain to them that league is a different deal,” he said. “I thought our inexperience at times kind of showed itself and Feather River played good.
“But we learned from that and we’re re-focused. I think the girls are looking forward to getting back out there and showing what they’re capable of.”
Newton, however, says he is also expecting a battle from the Corsairs, who won their conference opener against Shasta despite playing without injured sophomore standout Rachel Valdez.
“Whether they have their best kids or not, or whether they’re down in numbers, (head coach) Jain (Tuey) does a fantastic job,” the Butte coach said. “They’ll be ready to compete and we’ve got to come out with our best stuff.”
Tip off is set for 3 p.m, with the CR and Butte men also playing at 1 p.m.
Categories: Basketball, College of the Redwoods, Eureka
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