South Fork’s Varsity girls lost to St. Bernard’s Friday night in Eureka 49-38. The loss puts the Cubs at 2-3 in league and the the unenviable position of needing a win over unbeaten Ferndale in the last game of the season to be guaranteed a spot in the post-season county championship Niclai Tournament.
"We didn’t play with the intensity we needed until the 4th quarter," said head coach Dave Bushnell. He cites poor shot selection and lack of ball movement as derailing the Cub offense in the first half.
Down by 9 at the intermission the Lady Cubs started to see things slip away when the Crusaders buried a 3-pointer to open the 3rd period and went on to score 23 points in 8 minutes to open up a 22 point lead. Crusaders top scorer Jocelyn Silvers had 26 total points in the game, 19 of them coming in the 3rd quarter. "They did a very good job of getting her the basketball and she did a very good job of coming off of screens into mismatched post-ups."
But the Lady Cubs showed what they are capable of in the 4th quarter. "We went on a 15-0 run in the last quarter," said Bushnell. Junior Trisha Harrison hit two 3-pointers and made 3 of 4 free throws to lead the comeback rally as the Cubs closed the gap to 11 points. Junior Kayla Kercher’s defense helped hold the Crusaders to just 4 points in the period, and the Cubs showed the kind of urgency that could have carried them to a win had they played with it the entire game.
The Lady Cubs will now need to summon that urgency against Ferndale Friday night in Miranda in order to get the upset win they need to take second place in league and possibly get a home game in the Niclai depending on the outcome of the Hoopa/St Bernard’s match up the same night.
"We know we can do it," said Bushnell, who added, "We’ll be working our tails off this week and will not be taking anything less than a win Friday night. Our offense is improving and we have a better than fair chance of beating them."
Bushnell wants to get his team to see the weakness in the Wildcat help defense and be able to hit the open man with a well-timed pass. "Our defense did very well against them last time," he said, "but we’ll be changing it to something they won’t be expecting."
Tip-off in Miranda Friday night will be at 6 p.m.
South Fork -6 -7 -10 -15 --38
St. Bernard’s -10 -12 -23 -4 --49
PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHELLE BUSHNELL
Bree Finney on the ball, with Kayla Kercher, No. 24, and Trisha Harrison, No. 12 there to help.