The McCloud Loggers beat the Ipakanni Early College Charter School Hawks in a first round Division 7 playoff game, 84-44, Tuesday night in McCloud.
David Wolfe made the first 2 points for McCloud, and the Loggers were on fire while taking a 24-13 first-quarter lead.
Towards the end of second period, Travis Blumel, Adan Gardner, Jaden Quiring and Jacob Savage, who played junior varsity but joined the varsity team for the playoffs, had time on the court and doubled the spread, leading to a 45-21 lead at half time.
The Loggers were prepared to play against Earl Johnson Jr., who scored 71 points alone in the Hawks’ last game, but he still scored 36 of their 44 points.
Zach Dutton led the Loggers with 33 points, Mawolin Summers scored 20, David Wolfe 14, Seth Rubin and Ramon Strandberg 6, Travis Blumel 3, and Alex Olson 2.
After the game, head coach Todd Carson said, “We did a good job containing Ipakanni Early College Charter School. It was really good that the junior varsity got playing time. They have so much spirit. We are excited about the Thursday’s playoff against Hayfork.”
The Loggers, seeded No. 2 while playing their school’s first basketball season in 16 years, are now scheduled to host No. 3 Hayfork Thursday at 7 p.m. in a Division 7 semifinal game. McCloud defeated Hayfork twice at the end of the Evergreen League season.
No. 1 Butte Valley will host No. 4 Paradise Adventist Academy in the other semifinal.
The Division 7 championship game is scheduled for Feb. 23, tentatively at Shasta College in Redding.
Zach Dutton, who played center for the Loggers, said, “We had to work hard to get ready for Earl Johnson Jr. who scored 71 points in the last game and Vaughn Bilbo because we saw his rebounds. But we came out on the court with the mentality that this might be our last game and to give it everything we have. We came into the game watching out for Johnson. We played very good defense on him. He is a crazy shooter so we really had to focus to make sure he didn’t get any easy shots. I am really proud of our JV guys who moved up to varsity this week for the playoffs. They came out in the second period and really showed that they can play at the varsity level next year. We played well as a team.”
With snow falling Tuesday, the game was called off at one point during the day, but then the Hawks decided to make the trip through the snow storm from Oroville.
“We have a dedicated community,” said McCloud High School secretary Amy Bourke. “They came out in this snow storm and waited over an hour for the game due to the other team getting stuck on I-5 in this storm. They filled the bleachers, ate, and visited while we waited. That’s dedication.”