Robert Husseman, The Triplicate

Huskies outscore Warriors 24-13 in second half; DN hosts Arcata Friday

An undersized and young Del Norte High boys basketball team walked into Fortuna High School on Wednesday night and held court in one gritty half of basketball.

The Huskies responded with a third-quarter counterpunch that turned into a knockout blow.

Fortuna outscored the Warriors 13-3 in the third quarter to knock off Del Norte, 50-40. The Huskies are through the first half of Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League play with a 15-4 overall record and a 3-1 league record.

The Warriors dropped to 6-8 overall and 1-2 in HDN Big 5 play.

Del Norte began the game with consecutive baskets from sophomores Steven Maready - the Warriors' leading scorer on the night, with 11 points - and Josh Gruden, but Fortuna responded in taking a 13-12 lead after the first quarter. A second Maready three-pointer with 5:26 remaining in the first half gave the Warriors a 23-18 lead. Del Norte held a one-point advantage entering halftime.

The Warriors' offensive struggles, exorcised during a win over Eureka on Jan. 9, reared their heads again in the third quarter. Del Norte went 5:30 without a basket as Fortuna built what would prove to be the largest lead of the night.

Defense marked the start of the fourth quarter, as Warriors junior Dylan Pease's three-pointer with 6:02 remaining in the game represented the first points scored by either team. Pease's shot cut the Fortuna lead to 40-33, but Del Norte could not close the gap further.

The Del Norte High junior varsity team rebounded from a 54-42 loss at Eurka on Jan. 9 to defeat Fortuna, 57-54, on Wednesday night. The Warriors improved to 5-11 overall (1-2 HDN Big 5).

The Del Norte High freshman team avenged a loss to the Huskies in a preseason tournament with a 45-33 victory on Wednesday. The Warriors are 3-0 in HDN Big 5 play (7-1) after a 70-38 thrashing of Eureka on Jan. 9.

The Warriors return to the friendly confines of Thunen Gymnaisum to host Arcata on Friday. The freshmen will face the Tigers at 4:30 p.m., followed by the junior varsity game at 6 p.m. and the varsitygame at 7:30 p.m.

Reach Robert Husseman at