By Bill Choy

Triplicate Sports Editor

FORTUNA The Del Norte High girls varsity basketball team snapped a three-game losing steak Friday, downing Middletown 54-31 at the Yvonne Rocha Tournament in Fortuna.

The victory improves the Warriors to 2-3 for the season.

andquot;It feels good to get the win,andquot; head coach Buzz McCulloch said. andquot;The girls played a lot better defensively and were a lot more aggressive,andquot; adding the team switched from a zone defense to man-to-man, which was more effective.

Del Norte won its opening game at a tournament in Yreka last week before losing the remaining two tournament games. Thursday night, the Warriors lost its first round game in Fortuna 52-29 to Anderson.

Friday against Middletown, the Warriors started slowly, with the game tied at 10 each at the end of the first quarter. By the end of the half the team had taken a 22-17 lead.

In the second half, McCulloch said the team came out andquot;fired up,andquot; shot the ball well and was able to build on their lead for the 54-31 win.

A key to the Warriors' success was in free throw shooting and turnovers, McCulloch said, which has been a weakness so far this season.

Against Anderson, Del Norte had 15 turnovers in the first half and shot poorly from the free throw line. On Friday, the squad had only 13 turnovers for the game and went 9-for-16 from the charity stripe.

Sophomore Lauryn Lesina led Warrior scorers with 13 points, while junior Natasha Short had 10 points playing post. She started for Michelle Stacey who was unable to attend the game. Baille McCulloch had seven points. Del Norte will play today for the consolation championship at the tournament.