By Bill Choy

Triplicate Sports Editor

YREKA The Del Norte High varsity boys basketball team showed very little rust, if any, in the opening game of the season, crushing Pierce High of Arbuckle 70-21 at a tournament in Yreka on Thursday.

The convincing victory gives the Warriors quite a positive foundation with which to begin the season.

The win came despite the fact that several team members and head coach Blaine Lopez began practicing on Monday, giving them only three whole practices as a complete team.

This was due to the fact that six members of the squad and Lopez were in the thick of the football playoffs, which ended for Del Norte on Saturday. Lopez is offensive coordinator for the football team.

But that did not make much of a difference as the Warriors overwhelmed Pierce with a pressing man-to-man defense and an up-tempo style that had the athletic Warriors racing down the court. At halftime, Del Norte was up 42-13.

In the second half Pierce, which brought a 3-1 record into the contest, had no answer for the Warriors as Del Norte raced to the victory.

andquot;It was a nice way to start,andquot; Lopez said, but added in defense of Pierce, they were without several players due to discipline reasons. andquot;Our players played with a lot of energy and played hard.andquot;

Seniors Chad Freeman and Cliff Van Hook led Warrior scorers with 14 points each while senior Andrew Fallman had eight points and four other players had six points each.

Tonight at 7 p.m. the Warriors will play in the winners bracket versus the winner of host Yreka against Mount Shasta. The tournament concludes on Saturday.

Del Norte will play its first home game on Tuesday at the Rotary Warrior Classic, where they will face fellow Big 5 Conference member Fortuna at 5:30 p.m.

On Thursday, the varsity team will face St. Bernard's at 7 p.m., while the junior varsity Warriors face Hidden Valley, Ore., at 5:30 p.m. The freshman team takes on Hidden Valley at 8:30 p.m.

On Friday, the Del Norte JV squad faces Redding Christian at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, the varsity team plays two games in one day. First, they face St. Bernard's at noon and play Brookings at 6 p.m.

At 1:30 p.m., the JV Warriors play Brookings, while at noon the freshman team faces Marshfield, Ore., and plays Hidden Valley at 4 p.m.