Warriors Run Over Crusaders
By MANUEL SANCHEZ, TRT Contributing Writer
Hoopa and St. Bernards were locked in a tight Little Four Battle on January 18 in Eureka, but it didn’t end that way, with Hoopa running over their rivals, 99-49. Both teams came into the game with 2-0 records in League play and the game started out back and forth for the first 5 minutes of the contest; then senior sharpshooter, Charlie Moon, continued his hot shooter by hitting three 3-pointers in the opening stanza. Moon ended up with 31 points and made seven 3-pointers for the game.
What was an 11-10 Hoopa lead ballooned into 32-15 lead by the end of the first quarter. It would only get worse from there on for the Crusaders. The Warriors just imposed their full court trap and suffocating half defense on St. Bernard’s to score easy buckets throughout the first half, with ally-oops and behind the back passes energizing the large Hoopa crowd that made the trip through the fog and the rain.
Hoopa big man, Milton Stewart, scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half and with Andrew Sorrell, was instrumental in controlling the paint and snagging every rebound that came within arms lengths of either man. Hoopa had a balanced night, with nine players scoring at will; they even called up two junior varsity players for the game because they were short handed after Warrior guard, Tahn Blake, had a rib fractured by a Ferndale player the game before.
As the game became more and more forethought, the players for St. Bernards started to get a little testy with the game and it lead to a small altercation near mid-court as Hoopa was close to scoring 100 points for the game. One of the Hoopa J.V. call ups was fouled hard by a Crusaders defender in front of the Hoopa bench and that started both benches to be cleared and led to the referees calling both coaches to the middle of the floor and thankfully clearer heads prevailed.
In a game that the Crusaders wanted to show they were to be reckoned with, the Warriors showed everyone in attendance and those listening at home that they were the top team in league. Hoopa is just sharpening their tools in preparation for the upcoming playoff season, were they are looking at a greater prize—a possible North Coast Section Title and an even bigger prize, a game at Arco Arena and a lifetime of memories.