DN overcomes 8-point halftime deficit for 41-32 victory

The Del Norte boys basketball team was able to battle through a nasty cold shooting spell that lasted the entire first half to grab a 41-32 victory over Arcata on Friday in Thunen Gymnasium.

The Warriors started the game on offense moving the ball around the perimeter and getting mostly open three-point shots. Unfortunately for Del Norte, they didn't go in.

The Warriors started the game 0-7 from the three-point line and were just 2-16 from behind the arch in the first half. They finished the half with just 10 points on 3-of-23 shooting from the floor.

"We came out flat," Del Norte head coach Blaine Lopez said. "Give them credit, they did a good job in that zone and we were sluggish. We had a sluggish week of practice, so I was a little bit concerned about that, and it showed as we came out sluggish."

While the Del Norte offense couldn't get going early, the defense played well enough to keep the Warriors in the game. Arcata led 18-10 at the break.

Del Norte came storming back in the third quarter as Josh Gruden and Napooi Shorty hit back-to-back three-pointers to open the half. Austin Healy followed that up with a jumper to tie the game at 18-18 and he hit another shot just 35 seconds later to give the Warriors their first lead of the game at 20-19.

In the fourth quarter Del Norte's leading scorer Steven Maready broke out of his scoring slump, netting all seven of his points in the final quarter as Del Norte pulled away from the Tigers down the stretch.

"I was really proud of the effort in the second half, obviously," Lopez said. "We just looked like a different team. I thought our speed and quickness in the second half gave them problems and I thought we were tough. We got after it."

Del Norte also shot the ball better, making 3-of-10 from behind the arch in the second half. The Warriors also made a stronger effort to get the ball into the paint in the second half.

"We just talked about how we had to penetrate a little bit," Lopez said. "We started getting in the gaps better, we just went to our strength instead of their strength. I think they dictated the tempo and the pace in the first half and I thought we definitely dictated the tempo in the second half."

Healy led the team with 9 points. Gruden and Shorty both added 8 points apiece. Parker Dantzman scored five points and Dylan Pease chipped in four to round out the scoring for the Warriors.

The win pushes the Warriors over .500 on the season at 9-8 overall and 3-2 in the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5. They will be back on the court on Wednesday at home against McKinleyville.

Reach Michael Zogg at mzogg@triplicate.com.