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Reel Deal: Rivers teeming with drift boats

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Guide Rye Phillips nets a steelhead for Scott Berry of Auburn on Monday on the lower Chetco River. Berry was part of a larger group fishing with guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. The steelhead hit a cluster of roe cured with Pautzke’s BorX O’Fire fished with a pink Corky. Photo courtesy of Andy Martin / Wild Rivers Fishing
Local rivers stocked with anglers, guides for Rowdy Creek Steelhead Derby 

Although fishing has reportedly been fairly good all week on both the Smith and Chetco rivers, this weekend may be pretty crowded fishing for the average angler, because there will be 22 drift boats out on both rivers as part of the 33rd Annual Rodwy Creek Steelhead Derby.

Smith and Chetco rivers

Both the Smith and Chetco rivers are continuing to produce steelhead this week.


Second half sinks Warriors in Mack

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Junior Joey Godla hits an open Steven Maready in the corner early in the second half of Del Norte’s 58-48 overtime loss in McKinleyville Tuesday. Del Norte Triplicate / Michael Zogg
Del Norte misses opportunities down the stretch; McKinleyville converts to complete comeback 

Even after McKinleyville erased a 20-point deficit over the course of the final 15 minutes of the second half, the Del Norte boys basketball team still had a chance to pull off an upset in the first round of the Dick Nicali Tournament on Tuesday. But a missed free throw and subsequent tip-in attempt were just off the mark, and the Panthers controlled the overtime period for a 58-48 victory to advance to the second round of the Humboldt-Del Norte tournament. 

“Obviously we are disappointed,” said Del Norte head coach Blaine Lopez. “I really believe that playing two games, one on Friday and one on Monday, really hurt us. We ran out of gas. Give them credit, they hit big shots and made their free throws down the stretch and we didn’t.”


Rowdy Creek hosts annual fishing derby

The Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery Steelhead Derby is back this weekend as 25 teams of four will be scouring both the Chetco and Smith rivers on Friday and Saturday in search of steelhead.

This year, the derby will be capped at 25 teams of four fishermen and two guides. Each team will be divided into groups of two fishermen and one guide, with one boat heading out on the Chetco River and the other on the Smith on Friday. The boats will trade rivers on Saturday for the final day of the fishing competition.


Warriors earn 3 seed

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Del Norte senior Omar Leal goes up for a layup on a fast break in the first half against Fortuna in the play-in game for the league tournament. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Del Norte tops Fortuna 46-39 in play-in game for final spot in the Dick Nicali Boys Tournament 

The Del Norte boys basketball team looked like a different team on the boards on Monday night in a rematch of Friday’s regular season finale against Fortuna. The Warriors went hard to the glass, especially in the second half, and pulled away late for a 46-39 victory over the Huskies to punch their ticket into the Dick Nicali Tournament as the third seed.

“Anybody that was at both games will know that we rebounded 10 times better tonight,” said Del Norte head coach Blaine Lopez. “We looked like a different team. We played hard the whole game, but rebounding was the difference because we still didn’t play our best basketball. We still had too many turnovers, especially in the second half.”

The game was a closely fought battle through the first three quarters. Although Del Norte led for nearly the entire game, they were rarely ahead by more than two scores. By the end of the third quarter, the Warriors were clinging to a 34-33 lead. 


Warrior girls fall to 2-seed Arcata in Nicali Tourney

The Del Norte girls basketball team’s first trip to the Dick Nicali Tournament in over a decade lasted just one game with a 49-37 loss to No. 2 seed Arcata on Monday.

The Warriors, seeded third in the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 after regular season play, thought they played a smart game against the Tigers.

“We had a great game as far as ball security,” said Del Norte head coach Jeff Cook. “We had less than five turnovers. We just had trouble hitting our shots again.”


The Classic comes back to town

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The Redwood Raiders competed against the Smith River Wildcats in the third-0place game of the eighth-grade B bracket. Del Norte Triplicate / Michael Zogg
32 teams come to Del Norte for Epperson Memorial Tourney 

The Classic: Epperson Memorial Tournament is still going strong in its third season, boasting four divisions of eight teams each for 32 teams, 10 more than the first Classic in 2013.

The Classic was started as a way to remember longtime Crescent Elk physical education teacher and boys basketball coach Eric Epperson, who passed away unexpectedly in the spring of 2011.


Youth Wrestling signups next week

The Del Norte Youth Wrestling team has one more chance to sign up prior to the start of practice. The signup is scheduled for Feb. 23–25 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. each day at the Del Norte County Recreation Department Gym on H Street. The youth wrestling program will allow kids to sign up at practice, but they will be required to sit out until all the paperwork is in order.


Babe Ruth signups at Peterson Park

Del Norte Babe Ruth Baseball is holding signups for interested baseball players ages 13–15 (on or before July 31, 2015) at Peterson Park Feb. 24–26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. each day.


Reel Deal: Steelhead are still biting on Chetco, Smith

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Dennis and Chris Henderson of the Santa Rosa area hold a pair of hatchery steelhead they caught Feb. 13 while fishing the Chetco River with guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. Photo courtesy of Andy Martin / Wild Rivers Fishing
Rivers teeming with fishermen 

Heavy rains forced most anglers to take a break from fishing over the weekend and early last week. Both the Smith and Chetco rivers were teaming with anglers as they rounded back into good fishing form midweek, and many fishing guides made the trip to the Wild Rivers Coast while most of the other rivers in the region were still blown out from the rain.

Smith and Chetco rivers

Although the huge storms made fishing difficult for drift boats, plunkers on the Smith River had good luck early this week with the river still raging from over 6 inches of rain.


Fortuna forces rubber match

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Senior Brandon Japp tries to create some space in the paint in the first quarter against Fortuna. The Huskies pulled out a 51-47 victory in Thunen Gym on Friday to force a play-in game for the third seed in the Dick Nicali Tournament. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Del Norte drops regular season finale 51-47, will host Fortuna again Monday in play-in game 

The Del Norte boys basketball team needed a win to punch its ticket to the Dick Nicali Tournament as the third and final seed out of the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Fortuna is eyeing that third seed as well, and the Huskies took a step toward securing a tournament berth with a 51-47 road win in Del Norte.

The Huskies trailed for most of the first half, but put together a strong 13-1 run to open the second half and build a seven-point lead, and the Warriors couldn’t get the lead back.


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