Hoops Round-up: Cubs Struggle Against St. Bernard’s, Mustangs Beat Winship

CJ Van Meter shoots over the St. Bernard’s defense Friday night in Eureka [Photo by Janice Coffelt]

All four high school teams and both junior high teams were in action over the weekend. While South Fork lost all four games to St. Bernard’s, both Miranda Mustangs teams beat Winship.

The Varsity Boys fell to the Crusaders 69-47 in the Humboldt Del Norte Little Four Conference League opener in Eureka Friday night. With just 7 players available compared to a deep St. Bernard’s 13, the Cubs struggled to keep up all night, and could not recover from a rough 2nd quarter in which they were outscored 24-10. “With just 7 guys we played a zone defense in the hopes of staying out of foul trouble, and I probably didn’t pull us out of that zone quick enough in the second quarter,” said head coach Todd Vandenack, shouldering the responsibility for the lop-sided period.

“We did well to hold their star, Isaac Drake, to just 11 points, but their center got 16 against us.” Vandenack was not discouraged by the final score however, noting that when the Cubs played Round Valley the first time they lost by 25 on the road, and then beat them soundly in their next match-up at home. “We missed a lot of easy shots and were missing some guys. It was a good effort.”

Cubs hustle back on defense against St. Bernard’s Friday night in Eureka Left to right: Roberto Navarrete, Justin Michael, Ryder Pfau, CJ Van Meter [Photo by Janice Coffelt]

Sophomore CJ Van Meter was high scorer with 15 points, sophomore Cooper Scott had 10, junior Roberto Navarrete had 9, senior Justin Michael scored 6, junior Ryder Pfau had 4 and Sophomore Cody Wyatt had 2 points. The Cubs are now 9-6 on the season, 0-1 in league.

The Cubs play McKinleyville at home Monday with tip-off at 7:30 after the JV game. Then on Friday the Cubs will host Ferndale, tip-off at approximately 7:30 following both JV teams and girls varsity. With precious few home games this season the Cubs are counting on a big fan presence at both of this week’s contests.

Shondra Moser fights for a loose ball last Friday night. Also pictured are Kylie Messenger, #24, and Kylee Savio [Photo by Janice Coffelt]

Regina Salomon brings the ball down on offense against the Lady Crusaders Friday night in Eureka [Photo by Janice Coffelt]

Varsity Girls

Also last Friday, the Varsity girls lost to powerhouse St. Bernard’s by a wide margin, 73-17. The girls had a severe height disadvantage and only had 6 players available for the game. Sophomore point guard Regina Salomon had this to say about the game: “I’m proud of my team for playing hard until the very end and contesting every shot. We hustled hard, and took every open shot we had, but the shots just weren’t falling.”

The girls will host Ferndale on Friday, tip-off at 6:00 p.m. The Lady Cubs defeated Ferndale 45-43 in tournament play early in the season and are looking to hold off Ferndale’s quest for revenge and keep their hopes alive for a berth in the local post-season tournament.

JV Boys

The JV boys, with just 7 players available, lost to St. Bernard’s 69-29 Friday night in Eureka. “We were only down by 8 at halftime,” said assistant coach Kelly Paine, “but we only scored 7 points in the second half.” The JVs will host McKinleyville Monday at 6:00 in Miranda. Then they will host Ferndale at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

JV Girls

The JV girls lost to St. Bernard’s 52-15. The uneven officiating made the game especially tough, with two Lady Cubs fouling out and the team going well into the double bonus (more than ten fouls) in each half, while St. Bernard’s was not called for more than five fouls either half. “I’m proud of the way the girls banded together. It was a team effort and they played with heart, scoring as many points as St Bernard’s in the second half,” said head coach Thomas Mulder. Freshman Jennifer Martinez scored 8 points and was 2 for 2 from the free throw line. Freshman Paloma Avilez had 4 points and freshman Hailie Haslip had 3 points. “We hope to carry that second half momentum into our next league game against Ferndale on Friday,” added coach Mulder. The JVs will tip-off at 3:00 p.m. in Miranda.

Miranda Mustangs

The 8th Grade Miranda Mustangs opened their season last Thursday afternoon with a 53-32 win over Winship in Eureka. “We wanted to push the tempo and establish ourselves as the aggressor right away and we were able to do that,” said head coach Taylor Morrow. Despite being down a couple players, Graham McConnell, not normally a starter, stepped up and earned the title of game MVP from his coach. McConnell led the Mustangs with 13 points. “He’s a very grounded and calm player,” added Morrow, pleased that he could get that steadying presence from an unexpected source when other players were feeling the first-game jitters.

Riley Gallagher making a steal against Winship in Eureka last Thursday [Photo by Taylor Morrow]

Sean Hassel-Hass scored 10 points, including two 3-pointers, Riley Gallagher added 7 with one from behind the arc, Cameron Messenger had 6, and Crue Contreras and Jason Trescott each had 4 points.

With the core of this team now with 3 seasons of experience playing together and two seasons working with the same offensive system that the entire high school and middle school boys’ program has adopted, the chemistry is building well. “We will have a good chance at the league championship this year,” said Morrow.

To prepare for the league opener against Fortuna this Tuesday at 6:20 in Redway, Morrow will be working on preventing penetration on the dribble. “We need to shuffle our feet more and reach in less, ” he said. Morrow reported that the 6th and 7th grade teams also beat Winship, details unavailable at press time due to power outages from the storm.




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