Hornets chop down Loggers 51-39, earn trip to Harlan Carter finals
Enterprises’s Jadyn Matthews paced the Hornets in their 51-39 win over Eureka on Friday to move to Saturday’s Harlan Carter title game. (Photo by Mike Daly / Shasta County Sports)
Patience was key in the Enterprise girls 51-39 win Friday over the Eureka Loggers. Both teams were advancing after wins in the Thursday night edition of the Harlan Carter Tourney, battling for a championship opportunity.
Eureka packed in the paint all game using a stingy 2-3 zone defense. Enterprise Head Coach, Anthony Williams, admits that his team is likely to “see a zone a lot this year.”
That is largely due to the athletically gifted, 5-foot-11 stretch forward Jadyn Matthews.
Enterprise started the game slowly, turning the ball over frequently. Those turnovers led to transition buckets for Eureka, including a highlight reel, 360-spin cycle layup by Makaila Napoleon midway through the first. She would lead Eureka with 17 points.
Despite the slow start, Enterprise was able to grab an 8-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.
That’s when the Hornets ramped up their man-to-man defense,which seemed to light a fire Matthews’ offense.
Coach Williams enjoys a defensive challenge, adding “If we can get back on defense and people aren’t beating us in transition, then we like our chances.”
The Hornets’ defensive intensity spurred turnovers by Eureka. Then Matthews happened. In less than two minutes of second quarter action, she scored eight points including a tough and-1 bucket in the paint, a 3-pointer, and a smooth pull-up jumper.
That surge allowed Enterprise to pull ahead 25-18 by halftime, despite nine points from Eureka’s Carly Boynton and eight more from Napoleon. Enterprise shooting guard, Natayah Saetern, provided long-range support hitting two 3-pointers in the half. She finished nine.
In the third quarter, it appeared Enterprise had cracked the code to Eureka’s lane clogging zone defense.
“The biggest change for us, was getting the shooters going early,” Williams said.
It was clear Enterprise was finding success in quick, inside-out passing that stretched the Logger’s defense. The result was open cutters in the lane and a slow rotating defense that led to fouls and free throws. Enterprise was a perfect 6-of-6 from the line in early third quarter action.
The Hornets seemed to turn the table on their opponents by collapsing in the paint to protect the rim. Enterprise freshman forward Abigail Shoff was particularly strong, blocking shots that helped ignite the transition game.
But that was only half of Eureka’s frustration in the lanes. Enterprise’s Matthews was also a huge part of the block party. At one point in the game, the Enterprise bigs blocked three consecutive Eureka shots.
Despite Enterprise pulling away after halftime and capping it off with a 42-32 lead at the end of three, Eureka found some extra gas in the tank. The Loggers took advantage of an Enterprise slow-down on offense, and cut the lead to five early in the fourth. Both teams exchanged a few timeouts hoping to control momentum. That was followed by two minutes of chippy defense and no scoring from either side.
Enter Karina Archibald. The scrappy Enterprise guard decided to insert herself in the clutch and make an impact.
“Karina’s back,” Williams proudly said postgame.
Archibald is rebounding from a tough knee injury, seeing her first minutes of play in almost a year. The rust was gone by quarter four, as she sparked the defense with rebounds and steals. But it was her clutch free throws down the stretch that sealed the deal, going 4-of-4 in the fourth quarter.
Foothill 69, Chico 40
The Cougars rebounded from Thursday’s three-point loss to make the consolation final against Shasta.
Foothill got 11 points from Delanie Henning, while Jenna Wallace added nine. Kaitlyn Troncale, Riley Wallen and Melissa Mitchell each added seven points.
Chico was paced by Nahkia Clements and Sela Dowell, who each scored 12.
Shasta 66, Willows 60
A day after struggling offensively in a loss to Eureka, the Wolves found the range as Isabelle Smith scored 22 and fellow sophomore Ella Rodriguez added 20 for Alicia Dahl’s squad. The Wolves draw Foothill in the consolation final.
Ava Jackson and Taryn Giacomelli each added nine.
Meghan Weinrich scored 21 for Willows and Marissa Peters added 18.
Sacramento 64, Placer 49
The Dragons advanced to the title game against Enterprise as RyAnne Walters and Muirae Gomez each dropped 18 in the win and Andriana Avent added 15.
For the Hillmen, Delaney Keddie scored 13 and Anne Lillis added 12.
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