South Fork Boys Clinch Local Championship Berth

Justin Michael puts up a jumper Friday night in Ferndale [Photo by Janice Coffelt]

South Fork High School’s boys’ basketball team lost a frustrating game against Laytonville last Wednesday at home, but bounced back to dominate Ferndale in their house Friday night, assuring the Cubs of a spot in the Humboldt Del Norte League’s Niclai Championship to be played during President’s week starting February 13.

In what head coach Todd Vandenack called a “very physical game”, the Cubs beat Ferndale 54-41 by “playing great team defense”, frustrating the Wildcats and making it “tough to run their offense. We contested every shot and switched up our defense a lot, keeping them uncomfortable.”

Jesseey Rolf  (#0) boxing out for the rebound Friday night in Ferndale Also shown are #33 CJ Van Meter and #13 Cody Wyatt [Photo by Janice Coffelt]

Vandenack had praise for junior Jesseey Rolff, whose defense and rebounding were solid off the bench to keep South Fork’s intensity up.

The Cubs shot 8 free throws on technical and intentional fouls resulting in two Ferndale ejections, including one for the Wildcat coach. Sophomore Cody Wyatt was 7 for 8 on the gifted shots.

Wyatt led all Cubs scorers with 15, followed by sophomore CJ Van Meter with 13, senior Justin Michael with 8, junior Scott Coffelt with 7, junior Roberto Navarrete with 5, sophomore Cooper Scott with 3, and junior Ryder Pfau with one point.

Two nights earlier, it was the Cubs who found themselves frustrated against a well polished Laytonville team who beat them 57-50. “We had a slow start,” said Vandenack, “and I give credit to them for being very well prepared.” South Fork could not shut down the same three shooters who dominated them in the early season contest back on November 29 when the Cubs lost 62-43 in Laytonville.

“They played a zone that we weren’t prepared for,” added Vandenack, and the South Fork offense was frustrated.

Navarrete had 16 points, Wyatt had 11, Michael had 7, Van Meter, Pfau and Coffelt each had 4, and Scott and senior Javier Alatorre each had 2 points.

Senior Justin Michael goes up for the block on Friday in Ferndale. Michael will be honored this Friday on Senior Night at South Fork [Photo by Janice Coffelt]

The Cubs will wrap up regular season play with a home game against Hoopa this Friday night, tip-off at 7:30. “We’re going to spend all week preparing,” said Vandenack. “We got a lesson in maturity last week and bounced back well after Laytonville. If we play as well as we did Friday, we will beat Hoopa.” The Cubs lost to Hoopa in Hoopa 68-61 back on January 20.

Both the boys and girls teams will honor their seniors Friday evening, and various fundraising activities will be taking place, including a half-court shot contest with a prize of $250.00.




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