Cubs Lose to Arcata, Late Rally at Hoopa Falls Short

Roberto Navarrete catches some air as he shoots above his Hoopa defender Friday night. Also pictured ar #4 Cooper Scot, #23 Javier Alatorre, and #3 Scott Coffelt. [Photo by Janice Coffelt]

South Fork High’s boys basketball team lost 62-37 to Humboldt Del Norte Big 5 powerhouse Arcata last Monday and then fell just short of a comeback win in the toughest house in the league on Friday at Hoopa, losing 68-61.

At Arcata the Cubs played evenly with Arcata in the first quarter but after that it was all Tigers. “We just couldn’t get an offensive flow going,” said head Coach Todd Vandenack. “They played a high pressure man-to-man defense and we had trouble adjusting to it.”

Junior Scott Coffelt led Cubs scorers with 10 points, followed by junior Roberto Navarrete with 9, senior Justin Michael with 7 and senior Javier Alatorre added 4 points. Sophomores Cooper Scott and Cody Wyatt each scored three points, and sophomore CJ Van Meter made a free throw.

South Fork    8     18    10    23        37

Arcata          10    21    26     5         62

On Friday, South Fork traveled to Hoopa where the supporters are so loud the players have trouble hearing each other, much less instructions from the bench. Hoopa jumped out to a 19-10 lead in the first quarter by pulling away right before the buzzer on a couple costly Cub turnovers.

Adding to South Fork’s woes, sophomore spark plug Cooper Scott went down with a knee injury early in the game and was not able to return. Now with just 7 players available against a high energy Warriors team with a deeper bench, the Cubs did well to stay within 15 points at the end of the 3rd quarter.

The Cubs were able to dig deep in the last quarter and began pressing the home side, causing turnovers and mounting a comeback to get to within 5 points of Hoopa. “It’s on me that we got a little tired at the end of the game.”

The Cubs had a season-high 15 steals in the game with Pfau, Navarrete and Coffelt having the stickiest fingers.

CJ Van Meter shoots over his Hoopa Defender Friday night [Photo by Janice Coffelt]

Vandenack was impressed with how much the Warriors have improved since he scouted them early in the season. “You have to hand it to them. They played very well.” Hoopa had lost to Ferndale in Ferndale the night before, 54-43.

Because Ferndale had lost to South Fork last Friday night 64-38, and Hoopa has both beaten and lost to St. Bernard’s the Humboldt Del Norte Little Four Conference is anyone’s for the taking.

“We’ll be working on the little things,” said Vandenack of how he’ll prepare the Cubs for the home rematch against Hoopa in three weeks to wrap up the regular season. “We have 8 very solid guys and outstanding production off the bench.” As Vandenack has emphasized all season, his goal is to have the Cubs at the top of their game right as the season ends, peaking just in time to make a strong surge into the post-season.

Coffelt again led all scorers with 17 points, Van Meter had 15, and Wyatt added 12. Michael, Alatorre, and Navarrete each had 4 points, and Pfau had two.

South Fork     10    18    10    23         61

Hoopa            19    20    14    15         68

This week the Cubs will play at Fortuna on Wednesday with a 7:30 tip-off. “We can win that game,” said Vandenack, noting that Fortuna lost to St. Bernard’s 59-47 back on December 28. Then on Friday the Cubs will host St. Bernard’s in a rematch of their January 6 69-47 loss in Eureka. Tip-off will be at 7:30.

The Cubs are now 1-2 in league and 8-4 against other Division 6 schools.

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