NCS basketball championships: Early lead not enough for Archbishop Hanna in 70-66 loss

By HOWARD SENZELL

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

St. Bernard’s overcame a 16-point lead by Archbishop Hanna to win the NCS Division 6 title 70-66 Saturday night in Eureka.

The Crusaders took their first lead of the game with 41 seconds remaining when Connor Johnson converted two free throws to put his team in front, 67-66.

St. Bernard’s then made three more free throws to get the victory.

Hanna missed three 3-point shots in the final seconds.

Armani Perry was brilliant for Hanna, scoring 36 before fouling out with seven minutes left.

“He got called for a loose ball foul,” coach Courtney Jackson said. “Several players went for the loose ball and he got whistled. We were up six at the time.

“We would’ve won if he hadn’t fouled out because they couldn’t stop him. He had a great game.”

Hanna, the No. 3 seed, led by eight after one quarter and 35-28 at halftime. It was 50-44 heading to the fourth quarter.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my team,” Jackson said. “We went into a packed gym and played tough.

“I think we learned a good lesson and I’m glad we’ve still got basketball to play. We watched St. Bernard’s get the awards and we want to know that feeling. It just made us hungrier.”

Both schools will participate in the CIF State Tournament, which begins next week.

Hanna now has a 24-5 record.

St. Bernard’s, the NCS top seed, improved to 20-10.