Del Norte found out just how tough the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 champion Fortuna boys basketball team can be on Friday night. The Huskies came out on fire on their senior night in Fortuna and ran away with a 66-37 victory in both teams’ regular season finale.
The Warriors gave Fortuna by far its closest game of the season when the teams met in Crescent City on Jan. 23, a 51-44 win for the Huskies. Fortuna’s next closest game against HDN Big 5 competition was a 19-point win over Arcata.
This time, on senior night with four seniors in the starting lineup, Fortuna left no doubt. The Warriors had just four points in the first quarter and added just one more point in the second quarter as the Huskies took a 33-5 lead into halftime.
“They played very well,” said Del Norte head coach Blaine Lopez. “Give them credit, that is why they are the champs. But we didn’t help ourselves any. That is the worst we have played in a long time. We didn’t compete very well.”
The Warriors came out hot to start the second half, hitting three pointers on their first three possessions, but Fortuna never let Del Norte get back within 20 points.
The loss brings Del Norte to 11-10 overall on the season and 4-4 in the HDN Big 5. Eureka, which entered the day tied with Del Norte at 4-3 in the conference, claimed sole possession of second place with a win over Arcata Friday.
Despite the loss, the Warriors will have a chance to play in the postseason for the first time since 2011.
The Warriors will travel to Eureka on Tuesday for the first round of the HDN tournament.
“It is going to be tough going down there and playing them on their court,” Lopez said. “That is a tough place to play and a tough place to win. Now its just all bonus, we get to play until we lose.”