A familiar issue came back to haunt the Del Norte High girls’ basketball team in Friday’s home Senior Night contest against Arcata: The Warriors’ performance in the third quarter.
“We’ve struggled all year long getting out of the game after the first half,” Del Norte head coach Mike Ernest said.
The Tigers made the Warriors pay, outscoring Del Norte 25-1 in the third quarter to win the game, 52-28, and clinch the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League title outright.
The Warriors (10-12 overall, 1-7 HDN Big 5) endured two field goal droughts totaling almost 16 minutes of game action — downright fatal in a 32-minute contest.
“That’s the story,” Ernest said. “We just couldn’t buy a bucket. They missed their shots too, but when you give them second-chance opportunities, they’re going to score.”
Arcata (18-3 overall, 7-1 HDN Big 5) struggled initially to pull away from Del Norte. The Tigers turned a 2-2 game in the first quarter into a 19-6 game with three minutes remaining in the first half, but a late scoring flurry by the Warriors cut Arcata’s halftime lead to 21-13.
In the third quarter, the Tigers started off hot and never cooled, scoring on 11 of their 15 possessions in the period while not allowing Del Norte a single second-chance opportunity.
“We didn’t have an answer for what they did,” Ernest said.
Emma Card broke through with the Warriors’ first basket of the second half with 7:15 remaining in the fourth quarter, at which point the Tigers led 48-16.
Megan Vina’s 15 points paced Arcata on the night. Card was the lone Warrior in double figures on the night, scoring 10 points. Taylor Cleland added seven points from the point guard position.
Card, Cleland, Brittany Maready and Sammy Jo Swinger were honored during the Senior Night ceremony. The seniors leave with Del Norte’s first league win in two seasons and many other highlights that one bad loss in the season finale cannot obscure.
“Overall, it was a good year,” Ernest said. “They played their hearts out.
The Del Norte High junior varsity team traded baskets with Arcata numerous times down the stretch in a close game, but the Tigers scored the last five points to pull away victorious, 43-39.
The Del Norte High freshman team came back from 17 points down in the second quarter but faltered late in a 42-40 loss.
The Warriors finished the HDN Big 5 league season with a 2-6 record. (Their overall record was unavailable at press time.)
Fortuna 51, Del Norte 32
Third-quarter troubles also plagued the Warriors in their Wednesday night contest at Fortuna.
The Huskies outscored Del Norte 21-7 after halftime en route to a 51-32 victory. Brittany Maready led the Warriors with six points, and Emma Card and Kaitlyn Clemann contributed five points apiece.