The Del Norte girls basketball team added a couple more close games to its early-season resume through the first two rounds of the Pheonix (Ore.) Tournament on Thursday and Friday.
Del Norte pulled out a close 38-37 victory over Reedsport in the first round. The Warriors followed that up by falling 48-42 to St. Mary’s in the semifinals.
Against Reedsport, the Warriors had three girls in double figures.
Kaitlyn Clemann led the way with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Grace Bruschi added 11 points and Jordan Babich scored 10 points for Del Norte.
Regin Loftin was the only other Warrior to score in the game, with 5 points.
“The girls are still trying to get used to each other,” Cook said. “Now that we finally have a little bit of a rotation, I had to change it because the two girls that aren’t here are in the rotation.”
Del Norte is playing without the junior duo of guard Kayla Costello and forward Shelby Bomke, who had a conflict this weekend.
“That is about 20 points I am missing right there between those two girls,” Cook said.
Luckily, the Warriors were able to get by against Reedsport thanks to their defense. Del Norte totaled 14 steals in the first round.
“In the last two games, our defense has been pretty good,” Cook said. “We are helping out and getting steals.”
Bruschi led the team with 5 steals and Panhia Yang added 4 more.
“Bruschi has stepped up. She has played two good games. She has stepped it up offensively and defensively. That has helped.”
Against St. Mary’s in the semifinals, the Warriors didn’t have quite enough at the end.
“It was almost like a repeat of Brookings,” Cook said. “We came out strong, then by half it was tied up. In the third quarter they went ahead and in the fourth quarter they stayed ahead and we just couldn’t get back in it.”
Although the Warriors lost the game, Cook has been impressed with the play his team has shown early this season.
“We are learning to compete,” Cook said. “That is the bottom line. We are surprising people. They are surprising me and I think they are surprising themselves.”
Del Norte will play Ashland on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. for third place.
“They seem pretty decent,” Cook said. “We watched them in Yreka and we watched them today. It should be another good game.”