By Bill Choy

Triplicate Sports Editor

CRESCENT CITY The Del Norte High boys varsity basketball team takes to the road for its first Big 5 Conference game of the season tonight.

The Warriors (10-2) face Fortuna at 7:30 p.m. The only two loses this year came back-to-back at a tournament in Redding in late December.

Early season highlights include winning a tournament in Florida and starting 8-0.

The Huskies (7-9) lost its Big 5 season opener Wednesday night 58-42 against Eureka. In other Big 5 action on Wednesday, Arcata defeated McKinleyville 59-42.

Del Norte and Fortuna met once earlier this season. On Dec. 12 the Warriors defeated the Huskies 57-48 in Crescent City at the Rotary Warrior Classic.

Del Norte has not played since Jan. 2 when the squad defeated Hoopa 65-58.

Warrior head coach Blaine Lopez said it's been nice to have the extra time between games for practices.

andquot;It was the first time all year we had that much time between games,andquot; he said. andquot;We had time to fine tune things.andquot;

Del Norte was supposed to play Ferndale on Jan. 4 at home, but the contest was canceled due to the severe weather conditions last week.

Lopez said the game will be rescheduled but a date and time has not yet been set.

He said his team is ready to start the Big 5 season and hopefully begin league play with a win.

andquot;All league games are important,andquot; he said, andquot;and playing on the road is always tough.andquot;

Del Norte placed second in the Big 5 last season.

A key factor for the Warriors tonight is to play its brand of tough, aggressive defense, find the open shot, and make sure to contain the Huskies junior guard Skylar Rice, one of the leading scorers in the Big 5, Lopez said.

While stopping him, the team also needs to make sure not to give other Fortuna player the chance to get open and get hot from the floor.

On the injury front, Lopez said senior post players Saxon Schultz and Andrew Fallman are still day-to-day but hopes there's a chance they can play tonight.

Schultz has been out with a bad ankle sprain since the end of December.

Fallman has been out for a little more than a week with a muscle strain

The freshman game will begin at Fortuna High School at 4:30 p.m.

The junior varsity game will follow at 6 p.m.