South Fork’s varsity boys made a statement last Thursday night in Miranda, soundly defeating the St. Bernard’s Crusaders 68-48. Coming into the game 0-4 in Humboldt Del Norte Little Four Conference play the Cubs could have hung their heads and walked through the game, giving up on their season. Instead they were fired up, on task and in sync for 32 solid minutes. They controlled the tempo, outrunning the Crusaders when they chose to and slowing it down to play keep away as they pleased, stifling the build-up of any kind of momentum from St. Bernard’s.
The Crusaders were panicked by South Fork’s in-your-face defense and tossed up brick after brick all evening while at the other end of the floor the Cubs’ passing moved like lightning to find back-door cuts or went into the paint to produce kick-outs for smooth outside jumpers. The Cubs also did better than usual from the free throw line, making 16 of 28.
They stayed out of foul trouble and got clutch performances off the bench. The team achieved its potential for the first time since league play began, and look like they intend to have a post-season after all.
Senior Damian Alatorre, playing with a painful right shoulder, led the team in scoring with 21 points. He was followed by junior Cristian Alatorre with 16, including 2 from behind the arc. Senior Levi Paine and junior Joey Wittlake each scored 8 points and acted as defensive spark plugs. Junior Jesus Lopez had 6, senior Ismael Lopez had five and sophomore Troy Langley had 4 points.
The Cubs will close out the regular season at home against Ferndale Friday night at 7:30. A win will likely get them into the local county championship Niclai Tournament as there could be a three-way tie for 2nd place in the league.
The Cubs have already beaten the Wildcats in the pre-season but lost to them in league two weeks ago. The Cubs are now 11-9 over all.
St. Bernard’s -12 -10 -12 -14 --48
South Fork -19 -16 -13 -20 --68
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MICHELLE BUSHNELL
Damian Alatorre, No. 24, goes up for the bucket, with Cristian Alatorre, No. 20, ready to back him up.