By Ray Hamill — On a night that made us remember why we love a good high school basketball game atmosphere, the Arcata and McKinleyville fans stole the show.
Admittedly, the Arcata and McKinleyville players also a good night — Brandon Bento-Jackson, Kalani Butor and Cody Whitmer in particular — but this was an occasion just as much for the fans after being forced to endure so many empty gymnasiums and arenas in recent winters.
And because of that, the Arcata and McKinleyville student sections are this week’s Team of the Week, an award sponsored by College of the Redwoods Athletics.
Also honored this week are a pair of Warriors.
Del Norte sophomore Brooklyn Carter enjoyed a sensational game at Eureka on Wednesday, leading the Warriors to a big upset win over the league-leading Loggers to keep their championship hopes alive.
Carter is enjoying a breakout season for the Del Norte girls and gives her team a sharpshooting alternative to junior team MVP Lili Nunez, a recent athlete of the week.
Carter scored 26 points in the upset win, including seven 3-pointers.
Our boys Athlete of the Week, meanwhile, is Hoopa senior Gerard Marshall.
Marshall is one of the top heavyweight wrestlers in the state and is enjoying another outstanding winter on the mats.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Del Norte Basketball, Sophomore
Fondly referred to by her teammates as the “Sophomore Sensation,” Carter certainly lived up to the billing this week.
“Brooklyn Carter was absolutely on fire,” her head coach Justin Clifton said after Wednesday’s big 70-62 win at Eureka, which keeps the Warriors’ championship hopes alive going into the final week of the regular season.
For more on Carter and her teammates, see Wild night shakes things up in the Big 5 …
Hoopa Wrestling, Senior
The defending North Coast Section champion is closing out his high school career in style.
Heading into the business end of the season, Marshall is the top-ranked heavyweight wrestler in the section and also riding high in the state rankings.
The Hoopa senior is No. 8 in his weight class in all of California and the highest ranked local grappler, along with Arcata’s Joshua Hannan, who also is No. 8 at 138 pounds and a recent Humboldt Sports Athlete of the Week.
TEAMS OF THE WEEK
The Arcata and McKinleyville Student Sections
With a league title on the line, the fans were ready to go and gave us arguably the performance of the week in local sports.
After back-to-back winters of limited or no crowds at games, it was a breath of fresh air to see the Arcata and McKinleyville student sections in full voice and creating an atmosphere the players and everyone in attendance could thrive off.
Here’s hoping these two teams meet again in the Dick Niclai Tournament.
Categories: Arcata, Athletes of the Week, Basketball, Del Norte, Hoopa Valley, McKinleyville, Wrestling
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