BASKETBALL ROUNDUP — Loggers answer the call; Panthers close in on Niclai spot

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Action from Friday night’s game between the Arcata Tigers and McKinleyville Panthers

Two days after suffering their first league loss, the Loggers quickly returned to winning ways in girls basketball with a comfortable 63-23 win over Fortuna at Eureka High.

The win lifts the Eureka girls to 5-1 in the Big 5 and leaves them one win from at least a share of this year’s league title with two games remaining.

In other girls basketball on Friday, the McKinleyville Panthers also returned to winning ways after an upset loss against Fortuna earlier in the week.

The Panthers traveled to Arcata and came away with a 57-46 win over the Tigers to leave them on the verge of securing at least third place in league and qualifying for the Dick Niclai Tournament.

In the Little 4, meanwhile, the Ferndale Wildcats got the better of visiting Hoopa to keep their league championship hopes alive heading into the final week of the regular season.

The Cats won 74-38 to improve to 3-1 in league play with two games remaining. They remain one win back of the St. Bernard’s Crusaders (4-0), whom they host in next week’s league finale.

Moriah Bowles had a big game for the Loggers, scoring a game-high 25 points, including seven 3-pointers.

After the disappointment of Tuesday night, the Eureka girls came out fired up for this one.

“They responded how I hoped they would,” head coach Cliff Napoleon said. “Very focused and played with a chip on their shoulders. Their ball movement was excellent and the glass was ours.”

Claire Maples also had a good game in the win and finished with nine points, as did Isis Poteet, who combined well on the boards with teammate Aniah Gaither.

“We had multiple second-chance opportunities led by Isis Poteet and Aniah Gaither,” the head coach said. “They really rebounded well tonight.”

Gaither and Amaya Gee each finished with six points, as the Loggers took control early and led 30-6 at halftime.

For Fortuna, which dropped to 1-6 in league play, Grace Scilacci scored a team-high 10 points and Allie Cox chipped in eight.

The Loggers are now 19-5 overall, while the Huskies are 8-16.

McKinleyville 57, Arcata 46

The McKinleyville Panthers broke open a tight game with a big third quarter and were able to hold on for an 11-point win over their rivals at Arcata High.

The win was a nice response to a surprise loss against Fortuna on Tuesday and leaves the Panthers in prime position to clinch a Dick Niclai berth.

Camryn Pinard scored a game-high 17 points for the McKinleyville girls, who once again benefitted from a balanced team performance.

Morgan Stubbs also had a good game and finished with 13 points in the win, while Kim Lewis added 10 points.

Trailing by one at halftime, the Panthers outscored the Tigers 16-6 in the third quarter and never looked back.

With the win, they improved to 4-3 in the Big 5 and 15-7 overall, leaving them within a half game of second-placed Del Norte (4-2), which has two games remaining to McKinleyville’s one. 

Tatum Fisher added six points in the win, while Trinity Preston finished with five and Neyr-Res Bartoo four.

Caroline Dieker scored a team-high 16 points for the Arcata girls, who dropped to 2-4 in league play and 11-10 overall and must win their final two games and hope for some help to have any shot at a Niclai spot.

Sophomore Leitala Vainuku also had a good game for Arcata as she continues to establish herself as a key component of the team and finished with 11 points, while Alia Prentiss finished with 10 points.

Ferndale 74, Hoopa 38

Two and a half weeks after battling to a one-point win at Hoopa, the Ferndale girls made no mistake this time around, rolling to a comfortable 36-point victory over their Little 4 rivals.

The win keeps the pressure on the league-leading St. Bernard’s girls, with the two teams set to meet next Friday in the regular-season finale at Ferndale.

Ferndale head coach Terra Albee described Friday’s win as “huge.”

“We knew we had to come out ready to play against the Warriors,” she said. “It was such a tough, close game when we traveled up to Hoopa and we knew this would be a huge game to keep us in contention for the championship.”

Ferndale’s Carly Carmesin and Hoopa’s Tatianna Colegrove each had a monster night offensively, with both players scoring a co-game-high 31 points.

Carmesin was particularly deadly in the third quarter and had seven 3 pointers for the game.

“Th team played amazing tonight on both ends of the court,” Albee said. “Carly was on fire from the arc and scored 16 of her 31 points in the third quarter.

“The whole team shot well tonight, with everyone scoring and playing together as a unit.”

Emily Chavez also had a big night for Ferndale and finished with 15 points, while Reaghan Langer added 10 points and Kyla Albee nine.

Colegrove has been playing an MVP level for the Warriors all season and that continued against Ferndale.

In addition to her 31 points, the senior also pulled down 15 rebounds and had six steals.

“Tatianna had an amazing night,” Terra Albee said. “She really played hard and finished well at the basket.”

The loss drops the Hoopa girls to 1-3 in league play, but they still remain in the driver’s seat for a third-place finish and a place in the Niclai tournament, something they can clinch with a win over South Fork (0-4) next week.

The Hoopa girls scored just nine first-half points, but picked up their game in the second half for a much stronger finish with 29 points over the final two quarters.

“In the second half we were way better,” Hoopa head coach Floyd “Cowboy” Billings said. “But we had a deficit and we had to come back, and they shot as well as we did (in the second half).”

Ivy Lamebear and Harmony Nelson each also played well for Hoopa.

“The girls played hard,” the head coach said. “We play hard every game. I can’t take anything from them.

“We played some good defense. Harmony Nelson played good defense, and my bench came up big for us.”

Clara Albee added five points for the Cats, who are now 16-5 on the season, while Clara Christiansen and Tia Henrikson each had two points.

The Warriors dropped to 7-11, with six of their losses coming against Big 5 teams.

They will close out the regular season with three games next week, including that key matchup at South Fork next Friday which should decide third place in league.

“I was happy with the performance,” Billings said. “Like I said, we don’t give up. We play to the best of our ability.”

1 reply »

  1. Stat line exposes formed into sentences…

    Thank You Tomlin for mentioning stuff like double-teams and Triangle and 1, etc… stat lines are not explanatory, just glorifying…

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