It was a case of bad timing perhaps for the Fortuna girls on Friday night, as they fell hard in girls basketball to a Eureka team on a mission.
Two days after falling hard themselves at Del Norte, the Eureka girls responded in dynamic fashion, rolling over a short-handed Fortuna team by a score of 77-40.
“Coach (Jesse) Genaro is a great coach,” Eureka head coach Michael Harvey said afterwards, “but it was probably not the best time for them to face us.”
In other prep action on Friday night, the McKinleyville girls ran out to a big first-half lead and made it stick, beating rivals Arcata by a score of 56-43 at Mack High.
The St. Bernard’s girls, meanwhile, continued to roll over Little 4 opposition, comfortably defeating the Wildcats at Ferndale by a score of 61-17.
With the win, the Crusaders improved to 4-0 in the Little 4, but they were denied the opportunity to clinch at least a share of the conference crown just yet because of a smoke alarm.
Had the South Fork girls beaten Hoopa at home on Friday, it would have handed the Crusaders at least a share of the title, but they’ll have to wait now, after that game was postponed due to a faulty smoke alarm at the school that would not shut off.
Likewise with the Hoopa Valley boys, who could also have clinched at least a share of the Little 4 with a win at South Fork.
The varsity doubleheader was postponed until Jan. 28.
Eureka 77, Fortuna 40
Two days after a big letdown in Crescent City, the Loggers came out with a chip on their shoulders and something to prove.
And they certainly made their point, with a dominating display to get back on track and keep their title ambitions alive.
“There was no way any team was beating us tonight,” Harvey said.
The Loggers had a good first quarter, but really took control of the game in the second, outscoring the home team 29-8 to open up a 26-point lead at halftime.
Defensively, the Loggers were outstanding, holding the Huskies to single digits in scoring in each of the first three quarters.
“Del Norte was just a unique thing where nothing went right for us,” the head coach said. “There was a lot of frustration. The girls were embarrassed. And frankly, I feel, and they feel, we’re the best team in the H-DN.”
Sophia Chalmers and Dorshaela Wesson were each instrumental in the early surge.
Chalmers, who continues to play a pivotal role for the team, led the way offensively with 16 points, while Wesson had 11, all of them in the first half to help set the tone.
The ever-reliable Makaila Napoleon also had a big game, finishing with 14 points, while Paige Lyons added 11.
“We played nice team basketball,” Harvey said. “We shot the ball well, we moved the ball well, and we played great defense.”
The Huskies were missing starting point guard Camrin Dolcini, who was at a pole vault showcase event, and had just eight players suit up.
Dolcini, who has been an inspirational leader for her team this season, was a huge loss.
In her absence, junior Charlotte Carroll led the way offensively with 17 points, and continues to evolve as one of the most dangerous post players in the area.
“I love the way she plays,” Harvey said of the Fortuna standout.
The Loggers, who improved to 4-1 in the Big 5 and 14-6 overall, host Arcata on Tuesday, while Fortuna (2-3, 12-9) will play at Del Norte on the same day.
St. Bernard’s 61, Ferndale 17
The Crusaders continued their march toward a league title, impressively taking care of business at Ferndale despite a few players battling sickness.
Defensively, the St. Bernard’s girls held the home team to no more than six points in any quarter, while offensively all 10 players who suited up scored.
“We have some kids battling some illness, so some of our bench players started and played really well for us tonight,” St. Bernard’s head coach Mark Gardner said.
Marayah Tomlinson and Sabrina Gardner each came in to start and played well, helping the Crusaders to a 10th straight win.
Brenna Silvers also continued to impress and has stepped up her game recently, finishing with 10 points in the win, while teammate Emily Gardner had a game-high 13 points.
Maddie Costa added 10 points and Josie Peterson eight.
“Again a great night for the whole team,” Mark Gardner said.
With the win, the Crusaders are now 4-0 in the Little 4 and 15-4 overall.
Bryleigh Busick scored a team-high eight points for Ferndale, which dropped to 1-3 in the L4 and 9-9 overall.
The Crusaders will face some tough competition at the MLK Classic at Marin Catholic on Monday, when they play University at 12:30 p.m.
The St. Bernard’s girls defeated University by just two points in last season’s North Coast Section semifinals.
Ferndale hosts Hoopa Valley next Thursday.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.