After a difficult season, the Del Norte High School Warriors girls basketball team showed off for their home crowd on senior night, defeating Arcata 46-38 on Wednesday, Feb. 5.
“Really felt good. I mean, it’s on top of senior night, and I think that’s only the second home game we’ve won. It was really nice to finally get a win in front of our crowd,” said team member Jadence Clifton.
Wednesday, the Del Norte’s senior night, was the final regular-season home game and they put on the heat, stopping Arcata’s winning streak.
“Tonight was a big win for us. It was one of the biggest wins of the year for us, realistically, being one of the bottom feeders in our league this year,” said DNHS coach Justin Clifton. “Hopefully this game got us into the (Dick) Niclai (Memorial) Tournament, which is the end of the year tournament that they do, and then going to the playoffs after that.”
Early in the game, the Warriors took the lead with little competition until the fourth quarter when Arcata inched toward a tie. The last couple of minutes had the home fans on the edge of their seats, but with a couple of free throws and hard-fought offense, the girls secured an eight-point lead.
“Three quarters of the game, we controlled the pace of the game, and we started hitting some shots,” Clifton said. “We controlled the tempo of the game, we made free throws and we outrebounded them.”
Jadence Clifton played with her usual vigor, securing 20 rebounds and 25 points. Kirsten Brous and Selene Ledezma also stepped up for the game. Brous counted 12 rebounds and added four points and Ledezma grabbed 15 rebounds and chipped in five points, a season-high for her.
“Shout out goes out to Selene Ledezma and Kirsten Brous,” coach Clifton said. “Selene Ledezma, she played absolutely phenomenal tonight… The seniors stepped it up tonight big time, but this was a team game, you know, and the girls all came together.”
The win brought them to 3-4 in the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 league and brought their total overall to 12-10.
“It’s been a little challenging. The girls stepped up though for what it’s worth… I’m proud of these girls. They play hard,” he said.
Following this game, the girls lost their next two games, bringing them to a 3-5 in the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League and a 12-12 total.