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40 teams in two days

Annual tourney began yesterday at 3 area schools

Crescent Elk B team coach Skip Congdon talks strategy at a Tuesday game with St Joseph. The Daily Triplicate/Rick Postal
A basketball tradition that has bounced along for 37 years  in Del Norte County began anew last night.

Forty teams from schools throughout Northern California and parts of Oregon will take part in the 37th annual Crescent Elk Cougar Crescent City Jaycees 8th Grade Girls Basketball Tournament.

Since the boys edition, which begins its 42nd year in March  started, middle school teams from throughout the region have worked hard to get invited to these tournaments, considered one of the region’s premier events for middle school basketball. Arman Gunnerson of the Jaycees has been involved in both the boys and girls tournaments the entire time and is back this year helping to make  sure everything goes smoothly.

Why has he been involved with such a tremendous undertaking for so many years?

“It keeps me out of mischief,” he said with a laugh. “I think it’s a great opportunity for our youth. I don’t know who would pick this up if we didn’t do it.”

St. Joseph’s Sunny Athey drives while being defended by Cougars Margarita Rios (center) and Mateha Hayes-Curry. The Daily Triplicate/Rick Postal
St. Joseph’s Sunny Athey drives while being defended by Cougars Margarita Rios (center) and Mateha Hayes-Curry. The Daily Triplicate/Rick Postal
The tournament is broken into five divisions, with nine teams from Del Norte County taking part. Local teams are taking part in all the divisions expect AAA.

One of those local squads is the Crescent Elk B team, which is the No. 2 seed in the B division. Head coach Skip Congdon said that while his team has participated in other tournaments this year, none has come as close to the number of teams and prestige of this tournament.

“The girls are excited,” he said. “They look forward to it all year long. It’s a big tournament.”

Team member Ericka Alcala said the squad won one game at last year’s tournament and is determined to do better this year.

“It’s going to be great because we’re going to play in front of the home crowd,” she said. “It’s nice because they are going to cheer you on.”

Warrior girls fall to Bears

Triplicate File Photo
What a difference less than a week makes.

After crushing Mount Shasta 40-15 at a tournament in Yreka last Friday the Del Norte High girls varsity basketball team fell to the Bears in a rematch Thursday night to snap a three- game winning steak.

Playing in a tournament in Mount Shasta the Warriors lost to the home team 34-25 to drop to 3-2 for the season.

Del Norte trailed by only one after the first half 18-17 and  were down 27-25 after three quarters, but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter.

“I guess it was payback time,” Warrior head coach Buzz McCulloch said. “The fourth quarter killed us.”

He said his team came out flat while Mount Shasta came out fired up in front of their home crowd at their own tournament and played with a fire his team lacked.

“We couldn’t get our offense going,” McCulloch said. “We were stagnant ... I hope they learned that they always need to come out ready to play.”

Warrior senior Lauryn Lesina  again led Del Norte scorers with 11 points. She scored seven points in the the first and four in the third and was shut out for the other two quarters. McCulloch said the Bears played tough defense on Lesina and made sure she was well covered when she had the ball in her hands.

McCulloch said that junior post player Gaby Zepeda had a solid game and finished with nine points.

Thursday night Del Norte was missing its two main point guards.

Senior Katy Suzuki had a previous commitment with the  high school madrigal group and will not play at the tournament.

Junior Rachael Lawrence did not play because of disciplinary reasons but is expected back for today’s game.

“It made us a whole different team tonight,” McCulloch said.

DeBacker named Big 5 MVP

Lexie Nelson and Paula Rhodes earn White Star honors

Senior Kristen DeBacker of the Del Norte High varsity volleyball team reacts after hitting a ball during a home game against Fortuna in October. Recently DeBacker was a unanimous selection for Big 5 MVP honors. The Warriors earned their 21st straight conference crown this past season. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
After the Del Norte High varsity volleyball team co-shared MVP honors last season, a member of the squad has the award all to herself this year.

Warrior senior Kristen DeBacker was recently named an unanimous selection for Big 5 Conference MVP.

She played a crucial part in the Warriors earning a remarkable 21st straight conference title.

Del Norte co-coaches Debbie and Pablo Lorenzi said DeBacker led the squad in aces and in kills and played a major role in the team’s success this season. Last year as a junior she received Big 5 honorable mention honors.

“I think she was great for us in all aspects of the game,” Pablo Lorenzi said. “She was our go-to person.”

DeBacker had many big games and was able to put up huge numbers in the kills category.  In the final Big 5 game of the year on Nov. 3 at McKinleyville, DeBacker had 25 kills in the Warriors win, which gave Del Norte the Big 5 crown outright.

Warriors take down Wildcats at home 46-37

Squad improves to 3-1 for the year  

Junior Kristyn Rook of the Del Norte High girls varsity basketball team goes to the basket pursued by a Ferndale defender as teammate Katy Suzuki looks on during the Tuesday night home game. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
It might not have been the smoothest game they will play this year, but at the end of the night the Del Norte High girls varsity basketball team did enough good things to earn the win.

Despite some rough spots the Warriors put things together in the fourth quarter to earn a 46-37 victory over Ferndale on Tuesday night.

In the first half the squad struggled to find a flow, missing numerous open shots and not playing stout defense.

Despite this Del Norte was still very much in the ballgame with the score at 18-18 at the end of the first half in the team’s first home game of the year.

“They just outhustled us,”  Warrior head coach Buzz McCulloch said about the first half. “We kept letting them dribble right to the hole.”

In the second half things remained close with the Warriors able to take a 31-28 lead after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter the Wildcats came out and quickly knotted things up at 31-31 and took the lead at 34-32 a short time later as it appeared the Warriors might let the contest slip away.


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Warriors compete at home tourney

Three Del Norte  grapplers place third at event

Senior Kai Lemrise of the Del Norte High wrestling team, below, takes down an opponent at the Battle of the Border tournament on Saturday at Del Norte High School. Lemrise placed 3rd overall in the 189 pound weight class. The Daily Triplicate/ Bryant Anderson
The Del Norte High wrestling team opened up the year in the friendly confines of Thunen Gym on Saturday as they hosted the 27th annual Battle of the Border tournament.

While things are still a work in progress, Warrior coaches Aaron and Clinton Schaad said the event was a great chance for the veterans to finally face live competition and for the newcomers to get a taste of high school wrestling.

A great advantage was the crowd, which became much louder when a Warrior grappler got to the mat, with many in the audience wearing Del Norte T-shirts.

“It feels pretty good when you have the home crowd cheering for you,” Warrior sophomore grappler Barrick Sala said. “When you’re away it’s usually just your teammates cheering for you.”

Del Norte had three wrestlers earn third place finishes. The Warriors tied for 6th overall with 98 points.

Aaron Schaad said that while they would have liked to see more kids place higher, overall “it was a good start.”

 “It’s a benchmark,” he said, adding that each wrestler got to see what they have to work on and improve at before their next tournament, which takes place on Saturday at McKinleyville.

Mixed results for DNHS: Girls go 2-1 while boys finish 1-2 at tournament

It was a mixed bag for Del Norte High at the Yreka Miners Invit­ational Bask­e­­t­­ba­ll To­urnament.

After falling in overtime to Klamath Union Thursday night, the varsity girls basketball team  whipped Mount Shasta 40-15 Friday night and downed Mazama 51-49 on Saturday to improve to 2-1.

For the Warrior varsity boys, after an 11-point victory over Klamath Union the squad fell to Mount Shasta on Friday and lost in the third place game on Saturday 47-34 against Brookings-Harbor to drop to 1-2 for the year.

Warrior Girls

In the consolation match early Saturday morning the Warriors pulled off the two point win. While the contest was close, the Warriors were in control for the majority of the game, head coach Buzz McCulloch said.

The squad has steadily improved each game, McCulloch said, and played their best contest of the year against a good Mazama team which downed the Warriors for the Yreka title last season.

A key was free throw shooting, as the Warriors went 9-for-11 after going 4-for-14 from the line in the fourth quarter and overtime in their season opener.

Warrior soccer teams earn 2 White Stars each

Del Norte High senior soccer players Scottie Skeen, front left, and Edwin Aguilar, front right, pose with their first team Humboldt-Del Norte Conference White Stars recently.Submitted photo
The Del Norte High boys and girls varsity soccer teams  each earned two  Humboldt-Del Norte Conference first team White Stars recently.

For the boys squad, seniors Scottie Skeen and Edwin Aguilar earned White Star accolades.

For the girls, seniors Katy Suzuki and Tami Plechaty earned White Stars.

For the Warrior boys, five players earned honorable mention honors. They are Jeremy Holloway, who also was named team MVP, Ian Jager, David Martinez, Jon Olvera and Cheng Vang.

For the girls squad, senior Brittany Enos and juniors Rachael Lawrence and Lindsay Olson earned honorable mention honors. Sophomores Molly Lambert and Tanasha Santos also were  named to the honorable mention team.


Warriors seek 3rd straight HDNC crown

Host Battle of The Border event this Saturday, Dec 5 starting at 9 a.m. 

Members of the Del Norte High wrestling team pose for a photo at the high school on Wednesday. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
It may have been only a practice match for the Del Norte High wrestling team, but it was obvious it was more than that.

Unlike other sports, wrestlers can challenge each other to determine who will wrestle in the next match in each weight class.

In one match at practice on Wednesday, Ivan Puente gave Barrick Sala, who won the Humboldt-Del Norte Conference title at 189 pounds last year as a freshman, all that he could handle. As the entire team looked on  Puente took a 6-2 lead before Sala had a late flourish to pin Puente for the win.

“That was a good effort,” head coach Aaron Schaad told both his grapplers, commending Puente for  his excellent effort in nearly unseating Sala.

With even practices pushing each wrestler to the max, the team is quite prepared for another successful year on the mat.

Junior Jordan Lacy said everyone pushes each other at every practice and said that bodes well when they face other schools.

“We train hard,” he said. “I’ve got good workout partners here.”

Season begins for Warrior hoops teams at Yreka

Del Norte boys earn 58-47 win  

Girls fall in OT to Pelicans 55-52(Story after the jump)

The year started out just right for the Del Norte High boys varsity basketball team on Thursday.

The Warriors earned a 58-47 win against Klamath Union at the Yreka Miners Invit­ational Bask­e­­t­­ba­ll To­urnament. 

“It feels great,” second year Del Norte head coach Scott Alexander said. “I learned last year that you enjoy every victory. We’re enjoying this (win).”

Against the Pelicans of Klamath Falls, the Warriors controlled things for the vast majority of the game.

After jumping out to an early 8-2 lead, Klamath Union came back and took the lead at 12-11.

Del Norte bounced back and held onto a 14-8 lead at the end of the opening quarter. At the end of the second quarter the Warriors were able to maintain a 29-24  advantage.

The third quarter was when  the Warriors really started to shine. Alexander said that things started to pick up for Del Norte, which dominated on both sides of the court to take a 41-31 lead.

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