South Fork Varsity Boys Clobber Ferndale, Play Strong Against Mack

Roberto Navarrete gets the rebound (behind other players) Friday night in Miranda against Ferndale. Also pictured, right to left, are Cody Wyatt, CJ Van Meter, Scott Coffelt, and Ryder Pfau [Photo by Janice Coffelt]

South Fork High’s varsity boys basketball team split with the Humboldt felines last week, hanging tough with the McKinleyville Panthers, falling 66-53, and then playing what head coach Todd Vandenack called “their best game of the season so far,” walloping the visiting Ferndale Wildcats 64-38 on Friday.

At home on Monday against the Panthers, the Cubs were within 3 points of the lead at the end of the first 3 quarters, but lost momentum in the final period. “We kind of took our foot off the gas pedal and had some unfortunate turnovers,” said Vandenack. “They shot well and we didn’t at the end of the game, but we got a lot of compliments from them on our defense. They were surprised by how well we played them.”

Sophomore Cody Wyatt led all Cubs scorers with a season-high 21 points, including 5 from behind the arc. Junior Roberto Navarrete scored 11 points, senior Justin Michael had 10, junior CJ Van Meter had 5, junior Scott Coffelt had 3, junior Ryder Pfau had 2 and sophomore Cooper Scott made a free throw.

Mckinleyville     16    11    23    16       56

South Fork        15     9    23     6        43

On Friday, Wyatt got things going with a 3-point bucket on the Cubs’ first possession of the game, Navarrete added another the next time down the floor and the Cubs never looked back. They were up by 13 points at the end of the opening period and kept a 20 point or greater lead through most of the game.

CJ Van Meter hits a left-handed jumper early in the game in Friday night’s win over Ferndale. Also pictured are Justin Michael (under the hoop) and #12, Ryder Pfau [Photo by Janice Coffelt]

The Wildcats pulled to within 12 points during the 3rd quarter when the Cubs were using the clock and lost a little intensity, but they came right back in the 4th to put the game away. “We had a good offensive flow,” said Vandenack, “and we didn’t panic when they pressed us.”

Sophomore Cooper Scott provided three highlight reel moments when he drove to the basket and put up seemingly impossible shots, got fouled as somehow the ball dropped through the hoop, and then swished the free throw. “All nine of his points came the old-fashioned way” of getting a 3-point play, said Vandenack.

“It was a great team effort,” the coach added, pleased with his defense and also noting the remarkable 87% free throw percentage the Cubs achieved, making 26 of 30 from the charity stripe. Compared to the Mckinleyville game, in which the Cubs coughed up the ball 20 times, they only had 13 turnovers against Ferndale, their lowest of the season.

Scoring was balanced for the Cubs, with Coffelt and Van Meter leading the way with 13 each, followed by Wyatt with 12, Navarrete with 10, Scott with 9, and Pfau with 7.

Ferndale       5     13     8     12       38

South Fork   18    20     9     17       64

This week the Cubs will travel to Arcata on Tuesday with a 7:30 tip-off against the 3-0 Big Five school. “They have some height and we’ll need to rebound well, but this will be a winnable game,” said Vandenack.

On Friday the Cubs will travel to Hoopa to face the Warriors in the final game of the first round of HDN Little Four play. Hoopa lost to St. Bernard’s 71-60 on January 13, but beat Mckinleyville 87-82 back on December 29. “They’re going to be quick and we’ll have to match their intensity but stay calm,” said Vandenack.

The Cubs are now 10-8 on the season, 1-1 in league and 8-5 against Division 6 schools.




  • Friday’s game was excellent and demonstrated that the Cubs are well coached and have learned how to close the door when the opponent threatens to make a comeback run. Great teamwork. Navarette was a steadying factor and Coffelt worked the boards hard when it was really needed. Superb free throw shooting sealed the deal.

  • Suzanne Van Meter

    All four games played this night were good games. What made it a particularly great night was the crowd that showed up to cheer the athletes on -on both sides. Coming to South Fork and rooting these kids on is encouraging, adds to the fun atmosphere of the gym and helps support the athletic program at our high school.

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