South Fork’s Varsity girls lost their opening Humboldt Del Norte Little Four League game to Hoopa Valley Friday night, 49-47 in Hoopa. For the second time this season South Fork lost by the narrow two-point margin to their league rival and again surrendered 26 points to the Warriors’ go-to player L. Jarnaghen. A poor performance at the free throw line as well as foul trouble were also factors.
"Overall we played well with them for most of the game," said head coach Dave Bushnell, whose Lady Cubs were up by 5 at the end of the third quarter. "But we missed a late lay-up and then gave up several offensive rebounds right at the end of the game," allowing the home team to sneak away with the win.
Bushnell said the entire team contributed well to the competitive effort and that they matched up well physically with Hoopa when they needed to, something he’s been working on in practice.
Juniors Kassie Humphrey and Trisha Harrison led Cub scorers with 12 points each, Junior Brianna Finney had 9, junior Kayla Kercher had 8, senior Vonai Willison had 3 and freshman Emma Valk had 2 points.
South Fork 14 8 13 12 47
Hoopa Valley 4 14 12 17 49
During the first weekend of the holiday break South Fork played at Rincon Valley Christian’s Holiday Classic Tournament in Santa Rosa. The Lady Cubs won their first game over Marin Academy 53-44, lost to Ferndale in the next round 46-24, and lost to Bay School of San Francisco 59-44 in the third place game.
Against Marin Academy the Lady Cubs outpaced their opponents who were big but not quick. Humphrey and Kercher did a "good job of denying the ball inside," said Bushnell who’s been working on getting more out of his post players.
"We also got a lot of fast breaks and good looks," he added. "Running worked well for us." Harrison was high scorer for the Cubs with 25 points, Willison had 8, Kercher, Humphrey and Valk had 6 points each and senior Tristan Jeffers had 2 points.
South Fork 17 14 13 9 53
Marin Academy 10 6 10 18 44
In the next round South Fork fell to league rival Ferndale. "They are a very tough and disciplined team," said Bushnell of the eventual tournament champs. "They are patient and work their offense until they get good shots." The Cubs found themselves a little overmatched physically by the Wildcats, a problem Bushnell figures he can remedy before the teams match up in league play two weeks from now. "We’ll be stronger next time we see them, and we’ll have to shut down their 3-point shooting."
Harrison led Cub scoring with 8 points, Willison had 6, Valk had 4, Jeffers and Humphrey had 2 points each and Kercher and sophomore Libbi Hartl each made a free throw.
Ferndale 13 4 14 15 46
South Fork 2 4 12 6 24
In the third place game South Fork faced a very quick well-rounded team from the Bay School of San Francisco. "I used this game as a practice opportunity," said Bushnell who worked on the fine points of his man-to-man defense against the quick ball handing opponents. "It was good experience for us." The loss doesn’t make much of a dent in an impressive 11-4 non-league record and the pay-off could be more effective defense against league rivals later in the season. "Kayla (Kercher) played very well," said Bushnell. "She really stepped up her defense in the second half."
Harrison had 11 points, Willison, Humphrey and Kercher had 8 points each, Valk had 6, Hartl had 3 and Jeffers made a free throw.
South Fork 9 9 14 12 44
Bay School 17 15 20 7 59
This week the Lady Cubs will Face St. Bernard’s in their second league game of the season at home on Friday with a 7:30 tip-off. South Fork is now 11-5 over all, 0-1 in Humboldt Del Norte Little Four Conference play.