The Del Norte boys basketball team overcame some early struggles and was able to put Taft away 44-38 on Thursday in the Warriors first game at the Pheonix Tournament in Oregon.
"Any win is a good win, we are happy about that," said Del Norte head coach Blaine Lopez. "But we need to play with more intensity than that or we are going to be in trouble. We were fortunate that they missed a few shots and we hit a few shots down the stretch."
The Warriors got in trouble early against Taft with several starters picking up some early fouls. That stretched the Del Norte roster fairly thin with sixth-man Jonathan Valladares sitting out over the weekend after sustaining an injury in practice Wednesday.
"We got in early foul trouble so we had guys sitting on the bench. We turned the ball over a little bit too much and we didn't have the same energy as we did in the first weekend," Lopez said. "Everybody pretty much had to play. We had to have some people in for a lot more minutes than they are used to."
Lopez said the Warriors missed some late free throws, but held on for a 47-45 victory over Cascade Christian on Friday to reach today's championship game. See Tuesday's Triplicate for more.