Crusaders keep rolling, move clear in the Little 4 

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Alyssa Boham in action for St. Bernard’s on Thursday’s night.

By Ray Hamill — The St. Bernard’s girls took a big step towards a Little 4 championship with a victory over their closest challengers on Thursday night.

With top spot in the standings up for grabs, the Crusaders broke open a tight game with a dominating third quarter and they held on for a 53-45 victory over the Ferndale Wildcats at St. Bernard’s.

Freshman Alyssa Boham had a breakout performance and sparked the big third quarter that saw the home team outscore the visitors 19-3.

Boham hit back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 90 seconds of the quarter, and finished with 10 points.

“She played with great confidence tonight,” head coach Matt Tomlin said of the first-year guard.

The game was tied 10-10 after the opening quarter and 23-23 at halftime, but the home team’s relentless full-court press began to pay dividends in the second half, and their shots began to fall with more regularity.

Junior Madelyn Shanahan and sophomore Laila Florvilus were both once again instrumental in the win, finishing with 16 and 13 points, respectively.

Another junior, Amaiyah Her, also had a big say in the victory, adding eight points while bringing her trademark intensity to the defensive side of the ball.

The Wildcats came to play and matched up effectively against a St. Bernard’s team that came into the game ranked No. 21 in the North Coast Section, according to MaxPreps, 16 spots ahead of Ferndale.

“Coach (Terra) Albee had a great game plan,” Crusaders head coach Matt Tomlin said of his Ferndale counterpart. “Her girls played very hard, and Kyle Albee and Reaghan Langer showed what they are two of the best players in the H-DNL. We have great respect for Ferndale’s team.”

Kyla Albee scored a game-high 18 points and had another huge game on the boards, while Langer was equally effective and finished with 12 points.

“I’m really proud of the effort of my team tonight,” Terra Albee said. “It was an even first half. It was just unfortunate that we got down in the third quarter.

“We battled back in the fourth quarter but just ran out of time.”

Carly Carmesin also chipped in eight points for Ferndale, while Emily Chavez finished with five points.

For St. Bernard’s, Aliyah Vigil added four points and Mataya Sherman two.

With the win, which was their sixth straight and 10th in 11 games, the St. Bernard’s girls improved to 3-0 in the Little 4 and 16-2 overall, while Ferndale dropped to 2-1 and 14-4.

Despite the loss, the Wildcats remain well in the hunt to retain the league title they won a year ago.

If they can get the better of Hoopa and South Fork in their next two games, they can still clinch at least a share of the championship with a win over SB when the two teams meet in Ferndale on the final night of the regular season on Feb. 3.

“We are definitely looking forward to the rematch,” Terra Albee said.

Next up, St. Bernard’s hosts Del Norte on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m., while Ferndale makes the short trip to Fortuna on Monday night.

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