The 2012-2013 basketball season kicked off with plenty of action this past week, as all of the local teams were participating in preseason tournament action. The Fortuna Lady Huskies and the Ferndale Lady Wildcats had the best results from this past weekend, as each fought their way to the championship game in their respective tournaments. Both the Huskies and the Wildcats settled for second place in the end, but still a good way to kick off the campaign. Though there will be a few games played on home court in the coming weeks, most of the action will be on the road for the local teams.
The Fortuna junior varsity boys hosted the Husky Classic JV Tournament last weekend with most of the HDN teams in attendance. Del Norte, Arcata, St. Bernard's, Ferndale, Hoopa and the host team participated in a rousing two-day round robin event. The host Huskies won two of three games to kick off their season, a satisfying result for first-year head coach Kellen Maynard. Fortuna started off last Friday evening against the Arcata Tigers and got off to a slow start in their season opener. Arcata seemed to be playing at a different speed as the host Huskies and the Tigers jumped to an 18-point lead in the first half. The Huskies slowly came around and made a game of it, eventually falling by a score of 64-52.
Fortuna guard Tyler Driscoll tallied 18 points in the loss, Ryan Wiegman scored 9 and Dalton Cleveland added 8 points.
The Ferndale Wildcats were also in attendance at the Husky JV Classic and started things off Friday night with a solid 44-24 win over the St. Bernard's Crusaders. Brad Martin led the team with his 12 points, Makhi Hamor added 8 and Ryan Isaacs contributed 6 points for the Cats. Saturday morning the Wildcats faced off against the Arcata Tigers, who would later prove to be the best team at the tournament. Ferndale was a bit over-matched but hung around to make it a game in a low scoring affair. Tristen Waters scored 7 points and Lane Sotomayor added 6 points. The tough Arcata team limited Ferndale to just 32 points however, the Cats played some defense too, holding the opponents to a 48-point total.
Ferndale closed out the tournament with a tough loss to the Hoopa Warriors. The Cats led the game 28-19 at the half but the second half defensive intensity was not there and the Warriors came from behind for the 51-48 win. In the final minutes it was still a winnable game for the Wildcats, but Ferndale went cold in the down the stretch. Brad Martin led the team with his 15 points, Lane Sotomayor scored four points late and totaled 14 in the game.
The Fortuna Huskies varsity boys won two of three games at the Kelseyville Tournament to claim the consolation crown at that event. Opening the tourney with a 62-57 loss to Dougherty Valley put the Huskies on the left side of the bracket for the rest of weekend. Justin Claus scored 22 points to lead the team but was the only Husky in double figures. The Huskies came back the following day and out-paced Piner in a 58-40 win for Fortuna. Nate Ambrosini totaled 18 points in the contest and seven players scored for the Huskies. Fortuna closed out the tourney in strong fashion in their 55-48 win over Petaluma. Daniel Teasley canned 22 points and Justin Klaus added 15 points in the victory.
Not to forget the Fortuna freshman boys team, they played in the St. Bernard's Tournament this past weekend. The Huskies opened with a 59-42 win over Del Norte on Friday evening. Koko Figueiredo led all scorers with this 16 points, Jared Hugh canned a dozen and Jeremiah Ward added 10 points in the Friday evening win. It was foul trouble late in the game on Saturday morning that cost the Huskies in their 32-29 loss to McKinleyville. Fortuna led the game throughout however, a couple of key players left with five fouls and the Huskies lost that lead with less than two minutes to play. Ben Flackus led the team with his 11 points. The Huskies closed things out with a 53-41 loss to the Arcata Tigers. A big second half comeback came up short despite 10 points each from Figueiredo and Hugh.
The Ferndale varsity Lady Cats won two straight to open the Kelseyville Tournament, thus gaining berth to the championship game. Ferndale opened the tourney with a 45-43 win over St. Helena. Meagan Earley canned 14 points in the win, Emma Gomes added 13 points. The Cats backed it up with a 47-37 win over Lower Lake the next evening. A one point game at the half, the Wildcats outscored the opponents in both the 3rd and 4th quarters for the quality win. Earley canned an unreal 26 points and Maci Branstetter added 7 points in that game, it was on to the title contest.
Two HDN teams did compete for the tournament championship as Ferndale faced off against the Arcata Tigers. The Wildcats lack of depth hurt them against the Tigers as Ferndale was playing without the services of senior starter Kendra Losa who took absence for family reasons. Arcata pulled away in the second half of the title tilt and won 52-24. Meagan Earley again led the team with 8 points and Sadie Rayl added 5 points. Earley and Emma Gomes were named to the All-Tournament team and the Cats gladly claimed the second place trophy. “We felt pretty good being in the position we were in, playing without the services of Kendra Losa,” said Ferndale head coach Kristy Christiansen. “I thought our defense carried up, but this week we are going to focus on the offense to get ready for what lies ahead,” added coach Christiansen.
Also winning two straight at a tournament and making it to the championship game was the Fortuna Huskies girls varsity team down at the Willits Tournament. Fortuna faced Ukiah to open the event and walked off with a 76-60 win. The offense was clicking in the game and Sophie Northern showed the way with her 26 points. Kenzie Rice scored 14 and Merritt Schoenhofer added 12 points in the quality win. The Huskies came back the following evening and polished off the host team Willits by a 72-41 score. For the second night in a row the Huskies put up big offensive production and Brittany Carvalho led the team with 19 points, Northern added 15 to the effort.
In the championship game, the Huskies faced off against the team that bounced them out of the NCS playoffs the end of last season, that being Piedmont. In a hard fought game the Huskies came up short 57-50 as there was not quite enough gas in the tank to overtake Piedmont. Merritt Schoenhofer led with her 18 points and Sophie Northern added 12 points in the losing effort. “We had an opportunity to win a title, we faced a very good team in Piedmont, they shot the ball extremely well and we played well but didn't quite match their shooting,” said Huskies head coach Mackey McCullough. “We have to keep fine tuning to shoot a little better but there's nothing like playing games to get us there,” added McCullough. Northern and Schoenhofer made the All-Tournament team at the Willits event.
In junior varsity action it was the Fortuna girls at the Eureka JV Tournament and the Ferndale girls at the South Fork JV Tournament, also attended by the Huskies Freshman team. In Eureka, the JV Huskies lost to McKinleyville by a score of 74-37, Kara Kavajecz led the team with her 11 points. Then came a loss in overtime to host Eureka by a score of 45-41, once again Kavajecz led with 10 points. Final game of tourney was as 42-30 loss to Del Norte on Saturday afternoon. Dahlia Cortes and Pyper Daniels led the scoring with 6 points apiece. The Fortuna freshman girls won 25-9 against South Fork JV to open that tournament. Fortuna lost on Saturday morning to Arcata Frosh 49-29, then rebounded with a win over Ferndale JV 49-29.
Taylor Ruhland played well (10 points versus South Fork) and was named All-Tournament. Erika Barajas, Elexas Spaulding and Karlie Murray all had double digit efforts for the third place Huskies. The Ferndale Wildcats JV team played all three games at the South Fork Tourney against Big 5 schools freshman teams. Beside losing to the fore-mentioned Fortuna squad, the Cats beat the Eureka team 40-25 but lost to McKinleyville 37-18. Ferndale's Adriana Catana was named to the All-Tournament team at that venue.
This weekend will see the Ferndale varsity boys seeing their first action of the season at the Trinity Holiday Classic today through Saturday. The Wildcat junior varsity boys also make the same road trip for their underclassmen bracket. The Ferndale Lady Cats will travel to St. Helena for their tournament on the same dates and the JV girls will stay close to home and play at Fortuna High on Saturday. The Fortuna Huskies varsity boys will be just up the road at the Arcata Invitational Varsity Tournament today through Saturday. The JV boys will be at the St. Bernard's tourney on the same dates.
The Fortuna Huskies girls teams will be facing stiff competition at the Piedmont Tournament today through Saturday while the junior varsity girls will be at the Ukiah Tournament and the freshman girls will be home for a single game against the Ferndale JV on Saturday at 6:00 PM.
Ferndale Wildcats football gets passed over for CIF bowl game: The Ferndale Wildcats, with a season record of 12-1, made a good case for landing a regional game in the CIF state bowl series but were passed over in last weekends meeting attended by representatives of the various sections in the state. The CIF Division 4 allows schools with an attendance of 500 and under to compete for a state championship in the bowl series that pits north versus south for the California state title. Ferndale went into the weekend ranked #3 in the northern half of the state , behind #1 Central Catholic and #2 McClymonds. The Central Catholic Raiders won their section championship this past Saturday with a win over Escalon 52-10 in the title game. After that result the best chances for Ferndale were to be picked by the selection committee to play in a regional game against the Raiders this coming weekend.
Instead it will be the McClymonds team out of the Oakland Section, with a record of 9-3 to face Central with the winner moving on to the state championship game. It was believed that McClymonds played the harder schedule than Ferndale as their three losses came against playoff-caliber teams. According to sources on CalHiSports.com, the debate between McClymonds and Ferndale in the Division 4 took the longest of the day, this one could have gone either way. It is also believed that Central Catholic will take the win this weekend over McClymonds and is also favored to win the state bowl game in the division the following week. Brookside Christian at 10-2 came in as #4 in the north and was also a slight consideration for the regional game, St. Vincent, the team Ferndale beat for the NCS Division 5 title, was ranked #7 in the northern part of the state. Most of the teams that the Wildcats have met in prior NCS Division 4 postseason action, such as Justin Sienna and Salesian, are considered in the Division 3 for the CIF bowl series.
Photos by Mark Lourenzo/Beacon
1. Fortuna junior varsity forward Ryan Wiegman makes a move to the basket against the Arcata defense in this past weekend's Husky JV Classic Tournament. The Huskies lost to the Tigers 64-52, but rebounded with solid wins over Del Norte and St. Bernard's.
2. Ferndale's Lane Sotomayor watches his shot float to the basket in tournament action this past weekend at the Husky JV Classic. Ferndale opened the tourney with a 20 point win over St. Bernard's but then fell to Arcata and let one slip away versus Hoopa on Saturday. Sotomayor scored 14 points in the Cats' 51-48 loss to the Warriors.