VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS — A night to savor for local basketball fans

By Ray Hamill — The atmosphere was electric, the gymnasium was packed, and the fans were excited.

And they had every reason to be.

On Thursday night, the McKinleyville Panthers hosted the Arcata Tigers in the showdown of the season thus far, with the visitors winning 71-57 and securing at least a share of the Big 5 championship in the process.

The game was close throughout, with the Tigers getting the better of the first-half exchanges to lead by six at halftime.

The Tigers, however, began to take control of the game in the second half, going on a 15-2 run in the third quarter to open up a six-point lead.

And every time the Panthers tried to rally after that, Arcata had an answer.

Usually that answer was senior point guard Brandon Bento-Jackson, who scored a game-high 30 points, including seven 3-pointers.

“He just took over,” Arcata head coach Kellen Maynard said. “He literally just said, ‘you guys get on my back’ and took the game over.”

Kalani Butor also had a monster game in the win and finished with 25 points, while Cody Whitmer scored a team-best 23 for McKinleyville.

Check out some of our video highlights of the game above and the incredible atmosphere at Mack High.

For more on the game, see Bento-Jackson leads the way as Tigers prevail at Mack …

Ray Hamill/ – Kalani Butor had a breakout game for the Tigers on Thursday and scored 25 points.

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