The Del Norte boys basketball team is moving on to today's championship game of the Brookings-Harbor Tournament. The Warriors were able to exact revenge against Phoenix with a 45-29 victory in the first round on Friday.
"That was the difference obviously - we jumped on them this time. "I was really proud of the guys," said Del Norte head coach Blaine Lopez. "I thought we played with so much emotion and heart. That is all we can ask."
Del Norte met Phoenix in the semifinals of Phoenix's home tournament last weekend. The Warriors tied the game up with less than a minute left, but Phoenix won on a buzzer beater.
This time around, the Warriors didn't give Phoenix that chance, jumping out to an early 14-2 lead and holding on for a comfortable win.
"It helps that we made a few shots," Lopez said. "It's not like anybody ever goes out and tries to miss shots, but today we made some shots."
While it helped that Del Norte got its offense clicking early, Lopez gives credit for the win to the team's defense.
"We made them really uncomfortable in everything that they do," Lopez said. "We were just a step ahead tonight. We made it tough on every basket, even when they scored."
After a disappointing performance against Eagle Point on Tuesday, Friday's game was a complete turnaround. Lopez was pleased with how hard each of his players played throughout the game.
"It was a total team effort," he said. "The starters got off to a good start, the bench guys came in and did their job. It was just a total team effort."
Del Norte advances to the championship game at 5:30 p.m. at Brookings-Harbor. It will face the winner of Brookings-Harbor and Cascade Christian, who played late Friday night. The score was not available at press time.
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org.