The Del Norte boys basketball team picked up a comfortable win on Saturday, topping Lower Lake in the seventh place game at the Yreka Miner Invitational for the first win of the season for the Warriors.
Del Norte started out the tournament with a 52-43 loss to Mt. Shasta in the first round, followed by an exciting 76-71 double overtime loss to Henley in the second round.
Although Del Norte got the win on Saturday, Lopez thought his Warriors played better basketball in each of its first two games, despite the losses.
“We didn’t play with very much energy,” said Del Norte head coach Blaine Lopez. “It is hard when you are playing in the very first game of the morning in a game between the two teams that haven’t won. I thought we were uninspired (on Saturday). We did enough to get a win, which is nice, but I think it was the worst that we played all weekend.”
With just four players returning from last year’s team, Del Norte struggled to find consistency throughout the tournament, a trait that Lopez said will be key for the Warriors to have success this year.
“The biggest thing was we were pretty inconsistent,” Lopez said. “We did some things really well at times, but we did multiple bad things at other times. We are not going to be able to do that. We have to be more consistent everywhere, and defensively especially. We have to be pretty good most the time, and really good sometimes in order to have a chance.”
Although Del Norte made more mistakes in its opening tournament than Lopez would have liked, the Warriors did show flashes of the type of team they could become.
“When we were playing well, I thought we moved the ball extremely well and made the extra pass,” Lopez said. “It also helps when you make shots. When shots go in it makes you look like you are playing a lot better, and we shot the ball well for stretches. Defensively we were rotating to the right places at times and had guys getting to where they were supposed to. When we do that we are going to be pretty good defensively, but it isn’t optional. That is something we have to be very consistent at.”
Del Norte will be back in action Thursday at the Crater Basketball Invitational in Oregon. The Warriors will open play against Mazama at 2 p.m.. Del Norte is scheduled to take on Ridgeview at 2 p.m. on Friday, before wrapping up the tournament against South Albany at 10 a.m. on Saturday.