Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Arcata’s Brandon Bento-Jackson moves the ball up court during Friday’s game with Hoopa.

The Arcata Tigers are building momentum ahead of next week’s Big 5 opener in boys basketball.

On Friday night, they won their fourth straight game, overcoming a stubborn Hoopa team and pulling away in the second half for a 70-37 victory.

Despite struggling early this season, the Warriors matched up well with the home team in the first half, and forced the Arcata players to fight for everything they got.

Carlos Aguilar was particularly dangerous early on for Hoopa, finishing with a team-high 15 points, 12 of them in the first half.

The home team, however, began to pull away after the interval, holding Hoopa to just 10 points over the final two periods.

Garrett Hall was as dangerous as ever, finishing with a game-high 16 points for the Tigers, who improved to 10-5, while teammate Niko Zambas was particularly dangerous early on and chipped in 14 points.

Freshman standout Brandon Bento-Jackson continued his impressive debut campaign with the team and finished with 11 points, while also continuing to handle the ball with a composure well beyond his years.

Marcus Bensen also had a big night with 10 points.

Hoopa led 10-2 early on and closed out the first quarter with an 18-14 advantage.

They managed just 19 points the remainder of the night, however, as the Arcata defense stiffened.

John Smith finished with nine points for the Warriors.

The victory completed a triple-header sweep for the home team, with the school’s JVs improving to 9-2 with a 59-40 win, also over Hoopa.

The Arcata freshmen also won their matchup with the Warriors.


Ray Hamill writes at, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.