The Fortuna contingent continued to impress for the College of the Redwoods men’s basketball team on Friday night, as the Corsairs rolled over Sac City 83-67 at the Mendocino tournament in Ukiah.
Point guard Zac Claus had one of his most impressive outings yet, scoring a team-high 21 points in the win.
The victory, however, was bittersweet with the news that sophomore guard EJ Jackson is out for the year with a knee injury.
With the victory, the Corsairs improved to 7-3 on the season, and they are beginning to play more consistently.
“I thought we put together maybe the most complete half of basketball so far this year,” head coach Ryan Bisio said of the first half, after his team led 53-30 at the break.
The CR men stretched their advantage to 32 at one stage in the second half.
The win was the second straight at the Mendo tournament for the Corsairs, who continued to get big performances from the Fortuna players.
In addition to Claus, who stepped up in the absence of Jackson and appears to be settling in well at the college level and taking on a leadership role, Donald Willis and Bradley Willis each also had big games.
Donald had 17 points, while Bradley added 13 points, and the latter, according to his coach, is “really starting to come on offensively.”
The Corsairs’ rebounding was particularly impressive.
“We had such a great rebounding effort, and that’s what allowed us to establish the rhythm and tempo we wanted to play,” Bisio said. “We played with such great focus.”
Thomas Nelson, who is enjoying a stellar season with the team, continued to play a pivotal role, finishing with 20 points.
The win sets up a rematch with a very good Mendocino team in Saturday’s tournament championship game.
“It’s the first championship game for this team, and I’m so proud of them,” Bisio said.
Mendocino get the better of CR last weekend by a score of 91-78.
Mendocino beat Feather River in Friday’s second semifinal by a score of 90-70, improving to 3-1.
Saturday’s game is set for 5 p.m.
In women’s action on Friday night, CR defeated San Jose 70-53, improving to 3-2.
No scoring details were available for the CR women, who play at Hartnell on Saturday and at San Mateo on Sunday.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.