South Fork’s JV girls continue to improve and played two solid games over the weekend in Arcata High School’s annual JV gathering.
"We actually played better against big schools than little ones," said head coach Taylor Morrow. "The girls are handling pressure situations and poor officiating much better than they were a couple weeks ago," he added, signs that the young and inexperienced group is maturing in ways that can’t be measured by statistics or wins.
In the opening game against Del Norte the Lady Cubs lost 30-19 in a very physical contest. South Fork started the game with a 6-0 lead but Del Norte battled back for the win as an absence of calls turned the game into a hack-fest.
"We shared the ball well and were able to penetrate their zone," said Morrow, pleased with the successes his team had despite the loss. High scorer for the Cubs was sophomore DJ Sterling with 6. She was followed by sophomore McKenzie Crenshaw with 5, and sophomores Melissa Pemberton and Lily Farrell had 4 points each.
South Fork 6 4 2 7 19
Del Norte 4 6 6 14 30
In the next game South Fork lost to St. Bernard’s 35-20. Having faced St. Bernard’s in close match-ups twice already this season the Lady Cubs went into the game sniffing their first win, wound up tight to play their best and make no mistakes.
"We were a little too tight," said Morrow, "trying too hard not to make mistakes and we were flat. We didn’t take chances on defense and allowed them to penetrate."
The Cubs finally loosened up in the 4th quarter and played well enough to win the period, getting fast break points off their full court press and taking control of the game. Morrow had high praise for Crenshaw who scored a season high 8 points while owning the boards and creating extra chances to score. DJ Sterling had 6 points, sophomore Kylee Teasley had 4 and Lily Farrell and freshman Antonia Navarete each had a point.
South Fork 3 1 7 9 20
St Bernard’s 6 8 15 6 35
The Cubs lost the last game of the weekend to Eureka by just two points, 23-21. "We had no fire at the beginning of this game, we were hanging our heads," said Morrow. "We were playing way below our level and just letting them do whatever they wanted."
Morrow gave an effective half-time talk to his team who responded by coming out and winning the second half, nearly winning the game. "We really kicked it into gear in the 3rd quarter. I couldn’t be more proud of our defense holding Eureka to just 2 points and forcing a shot clock violation."
Pemberton was outstanding on defense. "She never fouls and she gets lots of tips." Crenshaw and Sterling had 5 points each, Pemberton had 4, including 2 of 2 from the free throw line. Teasley had 3 and Farrell had a bucket.
South Fork 2 2 7 10 21
Eureka 11 4 2 6 23
The tournament did not give all-tourney awards, but Morrow said Crenshaw and Teasley were both deserving of such an honor. The Lady JVs are scheduled to play in Arcata on Wednesday and Clear Lake on Friday before the team gets a break until Humboldt Del Norte Little Four league play opens on January 4th against Hoopa.