The Eureka Loggers will play for their own tournament championship on Saturday after getting the better of crosstown rivals St Bernard’s 65-35 in Friday night’s semifinal.
The Loggers came storming out of the gates and dominated the visitors at both ends of the court on the way to opening up a big early lead, and after that there was no way back for the Crusaders.
“Eureka played very well, and they’re clicking on all cylinders right now,” St. Bernard’s head coach Steve Thrap said. “And our hat’s off to them.”
The Loggers certainly appear to be building some momentum and improved to 6-3 with the win.
“We played probably one of our better games of the year,” Eureka head coach Robbie Thompson said, describing the performance as a “big momentum builder.”
When asked what impressed him most about his team’s performance. Thompson replied, “Their defense and their energy. And I think we kept our calm the whole time. Overall I was pleased.”
Cahliel Garner and Jaeden Thayer led the way offensively with 15 and 14 points, respectively, as all 12 Eureka players scored.
Trevor Bell also was instrumental in the win.
“I thought Trevor Bell played a good floor game,” Thompson said. “He made sure everyone got in their spots, when they were in their spots he fed them, and when it was time to do his thing he did.”
The Loggers will play Shasta for the tournament championship at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Owen Shanahan led the Crusaders with nine points, while Cole Petrusha and Remi Campbell each finished with six points.
St. Bernard’s is now 2-3.
McKinleyville 72, Hoopa 48
Thomas Locatelli led the way as the Panthers got a boost with a big win over Hoopa at the Logger Classic on Friday.
Locatelli finished with a game-high 23 points in the win, all of them in the opening three quarters.
The Panthers blew open a tight game with a big third quarter, outscoring the Warriors 18-5 for the period to open up a 15-point lead.
Michael Boatright added 10 points in the win, as the Mack boys got a balanced team performance.
William Hamm finished with nine points and Freddie Sundberg and Cameron Saso seven points each.
For Hoopa, Joseph McGinnis had a team-high 15 points as the Warriors continued to struggle.
Javon Mitchell and Daniel Minton each finished with 10 points in the loss, while teammate Larry Tracy added eight points.
Both teams will close out tourney play on Saturday.
Del Norte 53, Klamath Union 46
The Warriors made it two wins in two days at the Hidden Valley tournament on Friday as they continued their impressive early season.
Omar Baunelos led the way offensively for the second straight night with 24 points in the win, while teammate Anthony Slayton added 11 points, eight of them in the fourth quarter.
Slayton was also perfect from the line late in the game, nailing all five attempts in the fourth quarter as the Del Norte boys kept their opponents at bay.
Despite the win, it was far from the Warriors’ best game of the season.
“They were a scrappy, play-hard type of team and we played uninspired,” Del Norte head coach Mark Slayton said. “Hopefully we can regroup tomorrow.”
The Warriors close out the three-day, round-robin Hidden Valley tournament against the host school on Saturday.
South Fork 82, Round Valley 53
The Cubs comfortably took care of business at Round Valley in a non-tournament game on Friday.
Alex Harding led South Fork with 22 points, while teammate Riley Gallagher finished with 16 points.
The Cubs are now 8-4.
Arcata 41, Golden Valley 51
The Tigers dropped a second straight game at the Red Bluff tournament on Friday night, falling to Golden Valley.
The Cougars (8-5) took control of the game with a big second quarter to lead by 11 at halftime, and were able to hold on after that despite a third-quarter rally by the Arcata boys.
Niko Zambas led a balanced Arcata performance with 11 points, while Garrett Hall finished with nine points and Marcus Bensen, Mason Railsback and Brandon Bento-Jackson each had seven.
The Tigers are now 5-4.
Fortuna 59, Shasta 84
The Huskies fell to Shasta in their semifinal at the Logger Classic on Friday night.
Branson Gans scored a team-high 12 points in the loss, as the Fortuna boys dropped to 4-4.
The Huskies will close out tourney play against St. Bernard’s at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.