LITTLE 4 ROUNDUP — Championship goes down to the final night of action

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Action from Tuesday’s game at St. Bernard’s.

With senior Owen Shanahan sidelined with a minor injury, junior Seth Dyer had a huge night to lead the Crusaders to a comfortable 76-56 win over visiting Hoopa on Tuesday night.

The win lifts the Crusaders to 4-1 in the Little 4 and 13-9 overall and they can clinch at least a share of the league title with a win in their final game at home to Ferndale on Thursday night.

With South Fork also winning at Ferndale, the Crusaders and Cubs remain tied atop the league standings with one game remaining each.

Dyer set the tone early for SB with back-to-back 3-pointers in the opening quarter to spark his team, and he finished with a game-high 33 points.

“Seth Dyer was everywhere,” head coach Issac Gildea said. “He was a great leader for us, he was scoring and assisting, and he had one of his best games all year.

“It was fun to watch him tonight.”

Aiden Burris and Wyatt Simoni each scored 12 points in the win, with the latter scoring eight of his tally in the third quarter, while Liam Dyer and Tyler Dimmick each chipped in six points.

“I thought we played good overall team defense,” the SB coach said.

All 12 players saw game time for the home team, with senior guard Seth Brunton netting a 3-pointer in the fourth that Gildea described as a “big crowd pleaser.”

Brian Gulley led the way offensively for the Warriors and finished with 15 points, while teammate Darvin Davis IV added 12 points.

The loss drops the Warriors to 1-4 in league and 5-13 overall, but they remain in a tie for third place with Ferndale and can still qualify for next week’s Dick Niclai Tournament.

Brandon Romero and Lane Campbell each also scored seven points for Hoopa, while Brendan Baldy and Rodney Clarke each chipped in five points.

South Fork 65, Ferndale 54

After not winning a league title in almost three decades, the South Fork Cubs are now within one win of a second straight Little 4 championship.

And they can thank their bench and fans for helping to lift them to a pivotal 11-point win at Ferndale on Tuesday night.

With their starters in foul trouble, the Cubs bench players stepped up to lift them over the hump, and the crowd support helped them to do so.

“A great win on the road tonight,” is how South Fork head coach Taylor Morrow described it. “Our bench was instrumental providing great energy on defense and some much-needed key scoring.

The coach so praised the contribution of the South Fork fans.

“A huge shout out to our fan section,” he added. “We had a lot of people travel for this game and it made for an amazing atmosphere.”

Ruben Lopez provided some big minutes off the bench in the second half and played a key role in the victory, as did Jasper Wilke.

“The whole starting five had foul trouble and the bench had to play significant minutes to get us through those stretches,” Morrow said. 

Tommy Rotbergs scored a team-high 18 points in the win, as the Cubs improved to 4-1 in the Little 4 (16-4 overall), with one league game remaining.

Shevy Bero-Vanmeter also had a good game and finished with 16 points, including a couple of key 3s, while John Harding was “amazing as usual,” according to the coach, and chipped in 13 points, as well as some big assists and rebounds.

“I can always count o him to do everything,” Morrow said. 

The South Fork coach also praised the play of the Cats, who dropped to 1-4 and 12-11 but still remain in contention for a Dick Niclai Tournament berth.

“Ferndale played super tough,” he said.

The Cubs, however outscored the home team 17-11 in the fourth to help seal the win.

South Fork can clinch at least a share of the championship with a win at Hoopa on Thursday.

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