By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
Thursday evening marked the end of the season for the freshman and junior varsity girls basketball squads at Del Norte High.
The freshman girls won 39-26 at Eureka to take second place in the Big 5 Conference. The junior varsity team lost 31-28.
Overall, the coaches for both squads were pleased with how their girls played throughout the season.
Junior Varsity girls
The junior varsity girls ended the season with a 8-8 overall record.
Head coach Chris Poole was impressed with how much the girls improved through the season and their tenacity in finding ways to win games.
This was in evidence at home versus McKinleyville on Tuesday.
Down seven points at the half, the Warriors came back for the victory.
"I was really happy," Poole said. "They played with intensity."
Earlier in the season, the girls were rushing their shots too much and were "unable to settle down" during games, which led to losses.
As the season progressed, the girls started to play more controlled, improved their fundamentals and learned the importance of patience and finding the open shot by the end of the season, Poole said.
"They're developing big time," he said.
Players that have done well this year include Lisa Daniels, who is a good rebounder and has been a "big asset to the team," Poole said.
Natasha Short is a "great shooter" and plays well on both ends of the court, her coach said.
"She's one of our go-to girls," Poole said.
Tabitha Hillman has been excellent on defense and has contributed to getting key turnovers during games.
Poole said what he has enjoyed about coaching his team is their competitive nature and their love of basketball.
A great help to the team this year is the tremendous support they have received from the families of players, from attending games to offering rides, Poole said.
The freshman girls had a very successful season with a sterling 9-2 mark.
Head coach Andrew Fitch said the girls have played consistently good basketball throughout the year and have played as a team.
A big help to this success has been that the squad has five "good post players" who can come into the game and contribute, Fitch said.
It also helps that the girls are willing to learn, enjoy the sport and have approached the season with a positive attitude from "day one" Fitch said.
The team has also done a good job throughout the year shooting the ball and playing good defense, he added.
Heather Thomas has been the Warriors leading scorer and rebounder all year and has a good all-around game, Fitch said.
"She doesn't have an attitude and doesn't get flustered," Fitch said.
Lexie Nelson has also contributed to the team's success this year, and has done a terrific job rebounding on both ends of the floor, her coach said.
"She's always around the ball," he said.
Rosie Lopez has also done a nice job playing solid minutes at guard, Fitch said.