Too little, too late, too often.
A familiar storyline for the Del Norte High boys basketball team reared its head in a 48-44 home loss to Ferndale: start out slow, work back into contention, watch the deficit increase as the game wears on and come back part of the way at the end.
"From the first guy on our bench to the last guy on our bench, we've got to have more intensity, more energy," Warriors coach Blaine Lopez said. "We're not good enough to spot people 10-point, 12-point leads."
That is exactly what Del Norte (6-10 overall, 1-3 Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League) did against the Wildcats, who opened the game on a 10-0 run. The Warriors were scoreless for the first four minutes and 14 seconds of the game before embarking on an 8-2 scoring run of their own.
Once again, the Del Norte offense, plagued by fits and starts all season, disappeared. The Warriors scored two field goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half as Ferndale (8-7 overall) took a 22-15 lead into the halftime locker room.
"We didn't come out ready to play," Lopez said.
Del Norte kept the game close in the first half by crashing the glass; the Wildcats grabbed three offensive rebounds in the first half. Ferndale improved on that number considerably in the second half, stretching its lead out to as much as 13 before the final buzzer. A scoring drought in the final three minutes of the third quarter proved the biggest blemish of the half for the Wildcats.
"In the third quarter we did a good job on a couple of possessions defensively," Lopez said, "but we scored on one of those possessions."
Sean DeArman led Del Norte with 14 points, and Josh Gruden contributed 10 points to the Warriors' effort.
Del Norte travels to McKinleyville to take on the Panthers today.
Reach Robert Husseman at firstname.lastname@example.org.