Lose to Ferndale 52-48 at home
Down by as much as 14 points in the third quarter the Del Norte Warriors girls varsity basketball team fought its way back against Little 4 Conference opponent Ferndale at home Wednesday night.
Del Norte High junior Taylor Cleland goes down the court covered by a Ferndale defender Wednesday night at home. Cleland finished the game with 19 points, including five three-pointers. Del Norte lost the contest 52-48. Del Norte Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Despite a valiant effort that had the Warriors cut the lead to a single point in the final quarter the comeback came up short as they fell 52-48.
A major reason for the comeback was the play of junior point guard Taylor Cleland, who finished with 19 points.
This included four three-pointers in the fourth quarter. She finished with five three-pointers for the game.
The first quarter was quite evenly matched as the teams kept to-to-toe with one another.
By the end of the quarter the Wildcats had a 12-10 advantage.
In the second quarter the Warriors got cold from the field as Ferndale took a 24-17 lead into the half.
In the third quarter Del Norte struggled as Ferndale increased the lead to 14 points. By the end of the third quarter the Wildcats had a comfortable 38-26 lead.
It appeared that with the Warriors struggling to put points on the board the game was as good as over.
But Del Norte had other ideas.
In the final quarter they went off for 22 points, including 12 coming from four three-pointers by Cleland, who was nearly unstoppable from long range.
Thanks to a three-pointer by Cleland, Del Norte was down only 45-44 with 2:01 left.
But Ferndale kept battling and extended the lead to 50-45 with 1:22 remaining.
Another three by Cleland a short time later cut the lead to 50-48 and gave the Warriors signs of life. But Del Norte was unable to score the rest of the way as the Wildcats left Crescent City with the hard-fought victory.
Del Norte head coach Buzz McCulloch was proud of the way his team battled back and performed so well in the final quarter.
But if they were able to sustain the intensity they had for all four quarters then the game would have turned out quite differently, he said.
“If we played that way the entire game we would have won,” McCulloch said. “We just didn’t have that intensity we needed until the fourth quarter.”
Panhia Yang, Shauna Ratnour and Emma Card each finished with seven points apiece for Del Norte.
The Warriors fell to 3-13 overall while Ferndale improved to 6-9 for the year.
In the junior varsity game Del Norte had a good showing, downing Ferndale 38-33.
Del Norte resumes Big 5 Conference play on Friday when they host McKinleyville. The varsity game begins at 7:30 p.m. with freshman beginning at 4:30 p.m. and junior varsity at 6 p.m.