The overwhelming underdogs heading into Friday’s contest against Arcata, the Del Norte Warriors were able to hang tough in the first half on the road, trailing by only seven points at the half.
In the second half, the Tigers, considered the team to beat in the Big 5 Conference, pulled away for the 62-42 win.
The Warriors were not intimidated from the start against the Tigers and played tough from the opening tip-off.
By the end of the first quarter the Warriors surprisingly trailed by only one at 15-14.
The Tigers struggled with consistency and did not play like the team that has rolled through the Big 5, including a 74-30 win against Eureka on Wednesday.
At the start of the second quarter, after Arcata turned over the ball, Del Norte took advantage when Colby Japp scored from inside to give the Warriors a 16-15 lead. For the majority of the quarter the lead went back and forth, with neither squad able to take more than a one-point advantage.
Arcata started to pull away a bit and had a 31-24 lead at the half. But the Warriors were certainly still in the contest.
In the third quarter, Arcata began to take control of things as there was little Del Norte could do. By the end of the quater Del Norte was down 47-33.
In the final period, while Del Norte continued to battle, the Tigers used their size and experience to win by 20.
Del Norte fell to 5-10 overall and 1-3 in the Big 5. Arcata improved to 15-3 overall and 4-0 in the conference.
Aaron Fitch led Warrior scorers with 16 points. Japp finished with 11 points, with 10 of them coming in the first half. Darian Simpson had six points and Collin Taylor finished with two points.
Tuesday night, the Warriors face Little 4 Conference opponent Ferndale on the road. On Thursday they will take on McKinleyville on the road. Both varsity games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Del Norte does not return home until Feb. 9 in the Big 5 regular season finale against Arcata.