Cold shooting, turnovers sink Warriors in HDN Big 5 home opener against the Tigers

The Del Norte girls basketball team stumbled out of the gates in their league opener against Arcata. The Warriors couldn't overcome a cold shooting night against the early-season league favorite, falling 46-31.

Head coach Jeff Cook said his team was feeling a little bit nervous heading into its first home game since the season opener in early December.

"I could tell that something was wrong with them at the beginning of the game," Cook said. "They were laughing and stuff and I went over there to tell them that it was time to get serious, and they said, 'Coach, we are nervous.'"

Del Norte got off to a slow start in the game, committing four turnovers in the first three minutes of the game.

"They played tight, you could tell," Cook said.

Still, the Warriors were able to hang with the Tigers, trailing just 13-11 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was more of the same for Del Norte, but Arcata got hot in the final two minutes, putting together a 7-0 run to end the half and take an 11-point lead.

In the second half, Del Norte was able to keep the game reasonably close by shutting down the Arcata offense. The Tigers managed just 5 points in the third quarter and 15 in the entire second half.

"I was pleased with our defense," Cook said. "They hit seven threes, so we need to work on closing out, but we kept them from getting down low."

Unfortunately, Del Norte couldn't score enough points to ever make a serious run at closing the lead.

"We just couldn't hit any buckets," Cook said. "We missed a lot of shots. We got good looks, they just weren't falling for us. That is how it has been in the games we have lost throughout the whole preseason."

Del Norte also had some issues taking care of the basketball. Arcata used a full court press for much of the game and it bothered the Warriors.

"We just panicked," Cooks said. "They really didn't put that much pressure on us, we made the mistakes. They were mostly unforced turnovers."

The Warriors scored just 11 points in the second half, led by senior Panhia Yang, who scored seven of those points.

Jordan Babich led the team with 10 points in the game.

With the loss, Del Norte falls to 9-5 overall and 0-1 in the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5. The Warriors will be back at home for their second league contest of the season on Wednesday against McKinleyville.

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