By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
Del Norte High School boys basketball coach Blaine Lopez would love a little extra time for practices this week.
But he won't have that luxury, as the Warriors (3-3), begin a four-game homestead at the Rotary Warrior Classic at Thuenen Gym. Del Norte plays at 7:30 p.m. tonight versus Hoopa High.
The squad went 1-2 at the Yreka High School Tournament.
On Saturday, the Warriors lost to Piece High. Friday, the team fell to Ashland (Ore.) 41-37. They started the tournament with a 44-31 win versus Lassen High.
It has been a challenging few weeks for the team. The Warriors were short several player the first three games of the season at a tournament in Gold Beach (Ore.), because they were on the football team, which was having a long run in the playoffs. Lopez, the offensive coordinator for the football team, also had to miss the games.
It got to the point where members of the junior varsity squad had to fill out roster spots. Still, the team did fairly well and finshed with two wins and one loss.
Before the Yreka tournament, his team had only three practices as a complete squad, which Lopez said translated to his players still learning to play together as a unit during actual games. This is a key reason why his team did not play as well as he would had liked.
andquot;It was obvious we haven't had much practice as a group,andquot; he said. andquot; We're basically two weeks behind. We deffentieley got our work cut out for us.andquot;
On Saturday, Lopez said his team came out sluggish and did not shoot the ball well. Turnovers also hurt the Warriors as the tea turned the ball over times.
The Warriors have to do a better job of being more arcive on the boards and getting rebounds, Lopez said. This was lacking the last few games, Lopez said.
During the Pierce game, Del Norte hadandquot;pretty good looksandquot; at the basket, but could not seem to get the ball into the hoop, Lopez said.
Lopez hopes his squad can come out strong, mesh together as a unit and perform well in the torunamnet.
Hoopa is a well coached team that always plays andquot;extremely hard,andquot; he said, so his team needs to play a good basketball game to come out with the win.
The Warriors next play at 8:30 p.m. Thursday versus Yreka High.
On Saturday, Del Norte plays two games. The first is a rematch versus Yreka at noon. Following a few hours of rest, the Warriors take the court once again at 6 p.m. versus Brookings/Harbor (Ore.) The games will be at Thuenen Gym.