By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
The Del Norte High boys basketball team dropped to 3-2 for the season after losing 41-37 to Ashland (Ore.) at the Yreka High School Tournament Friday evening.
Del Norte plays for third place this afternoon. The team's own tournament begins on Tuesday versus Hoopa.
The Warriors started the game playing tough defense, limiting the Grizzlies to 21 first half points.
Del Norte could not get a consistent shooting game going and could muster only 17 points.
In the third, the Warriors came out much more sharp and focused and were down by only two at one point.
Del Norte proceeded to take the lead 34-33.
By the fourth quarter, Ashland was able to regain the lead, leading by as much as seven points.
With around 40 second remaining, Cliff Van Hook was able to launch a three-pointer, cutting the Grizzlies lead to 39-34.
With only seconds left in the game, he made another three, putting the score at 41-37.
But it was too little too late for the Warriors.
Head Coach Blaine Lopez said it has been a challenge because the team has had only three practices so far as an entire group.
This was caused by several members of the team still playing football up to last weekend and having to miss the first three games of the season in a tournament in Gold Beach (Ore.)
Lopez, the offensive coordinator for the football squad, also had to miss the games as well.
The Warriors had to call in members of their junior varsity squad to fill out the roster.
The team still did well, going 2-1 and making the championship game.
A key difference in the game Friday was turnovers, with Del Norte turning the ball over constantly.
andquot;We had way too many turnovers,andquot; Lopez said. andquot;But we'll get better. It's early (in the season). We're still trying to figure out our lineups and who plays well together.andquot;
Ashland shot a scorching 14-for 16 from the free throw line.
Bryce Lund led the team in scoring with 12.
Van Hook and Scott Redmond each dropped in eight points.
The Warriors started the tournament in winning fashion, coming up with a 44-31 victory over Lassen High of Susanville Thursday evening.