By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
YREKA The Del Norte High boys varsity basketball team garnered another early season victory Friday night in tournament action, downing host Yreka 59-48 to improve to 2-0 for the year.
On Thursday, the team totally dismantled Pierce of Arbuckle 70-21.
The Warriors will play in the championship game at 5 p.m. today against the winner of Brookings versus Hidden Valley, Ore., which occurred after the Del Norte game.
The Warriors did not have a good start to the contest and came out flat, both on defense and on offense, finding itself down 16-8.
"They came out on fire," Warrior head coach Blaine Lopez said.
Del Norte started to get hot from the field and was able to go on a scoring streak and took the lead at 18-16. By the end of the first half, Del Norte had built a 33-23 lead.
"We turned it up a little bit," Lopez said.
In the third quarter, Del Norte continued to thrive and with a little under two minutes left in the quarter, had built a 21-point lead, at which Yreka started to chip away.
In the fourth quarter, Del Norte was sluggish and let the Miners mount a mini comeback, with the host team getting as close as nine points with a little under three minutes left.
But, in the end, Del Norte was able to maintain its lead and gain the 11-point win.
"We were a little bit sloppy but I thought for the most part the kids played hard," Lopez said. "It shows we still have a lot of things to work on."
He said he was pleased in the second and third quarters with the way his team was becoming more aggressive on defense and shot the ball fairly well.
But, Lopez said, they were still too out of sync and need to gel better, especially in the competitive Big 5 Conference.
"We'll have to be a lot better, that's for sure," Lopez said.
The team's fatigue in the fourth quarter was not too surprising, Lopez said, considering many of his players had just finished the football season less than a week ago.
Because of the deep run in the playoffs for the football team, the basketball team only began practicing as an entire unit on Mondaymeaning there were only three practices as a whole unit before the Yreka tournament.
Leading the way for the Warriors was senior Saxon Schultz with 13 points. Junior Cole Leslie, who made a few clutch three-pointers had 11 points, as did senior Chad Freeman.
On Tuesday, Del Norte will take part in its own Rotary Warrior Classic and will face fellow Big 5 member Fortuna at 5:30 p.m. They will play three more games in the tournament, one on Thursday and two on Saturday. The Warrior freshman and junior varsity teams will also participate.