Basketball teams cannot simply count on second chances to make up for missed shots and turnovers. Those are earned, not given.
Case in point: The Del Norte High girls basketball team had three second-chance opportunities through three quarters against Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League opponent Eureka High - and trailed, 38-29, entering the fourth quarter.
The Warriors attempted to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, but the Loggers' zone defense held Del Norte at bay in a 46-42 Eureka victory Tuesday night at Del Norte High School.
"When they went to their zone at the end of the second half - it's hard when your guard play throws the ball away," Warriors head coach Mike Ernest said.
Del Norte's (8-7 overall, 0-2 HDN Big 5) offense came in fits and spurts throughout. The Warriors opened the first 3:42 of the game without a point but finished off the first quarter with four straight baskets and a 13-11 lead. Del Norte cooled in the last five minutes of the second quarter, scoring two points as Eureka gained a 20-19 halftime lead.
The Loggers blazed out of the halftime locker room on the backs of guards Gloriana Moua and Brittany Glavich. Each player hit a pair of three-pointers as Eureka made eight of its 14 field-goal attempts in the period.
Warriors senior Brittany Maready caught fire early in the fourth quarter, scoring seven of her team-high 12 points in the period. Junior guard Panhia Yang cut a seven-point Loggers lead to four with a basket-and-the-foul with 3:02 remaining in the game.
"Panhia did a good job coming in," Ernest said. "She was most effective at driving to the basket. We need more of that."
A Maready jumper with 2:28 remaining put the Warriors within a possession of a tie or a lead, but Glavich came through again with a three-pointer. (She finished the game with 10 points, all in the second half.) Trailing 45-40 with two minutes remaining, Del Norte struggled against the Loggers' zone defense as the game wound down.
Moua led Eureka with 11 points, and Emma Card scored 11 points for the Warriors.
Del Norte was assessed a procedural technical foul with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter. Ernest substituted senior wing Samantha Swinger into the game, but she was not listed in the official scorebook as an eligible player. The Loggers made one of the two free throws.
Reach Robert Husseman at email@example.com.