The Del Norte girls basketball team closed out the Windsor Tournament with a win on Saturday. The Warriors jumped ahead early and cruised to a relatively easy 56-33 win over Napa.
Del Norte head coach Justin Clifton said it is the first time that he could find that the Warrior girls team has ever beaten a North Coast Section Division I school in basketball.
“They are a big school and they had a good team,” Clifton said. “They just didn’t expect anything that we did early on and we just ran away with it. That is a quality win against a good team, and a good program.”
Clifton said the Warriors defense continued to shine, as it has throughout the early season as Del Norte has gotten off to a 6-1 start to the season.
“I am very impressed with our defense right now, but we are playing good defense, not great defense. We will be playing great defense come league though,” Clifton said. “We are pressuring the ball and we are playing very good help defense. We are clogging the middle up and we are hustling back to close out on the three point line. We are also doing a good job of anticipating passes for steals.”
In the consolation championship game against Napa the Grizzlies struggled to protect the ball. Del Norte picked up lots of steals in the early going and they converted them into easy points.
“At the start of the game we were actually making our layups, which was big because we have been missing too many of them,” Clifton said. “We were hot against Napa though.”
Clifton said Napa continually changed its defensive alignment early in the game on Saturday, trying a total of four different defenses, but none of them had much effect. Eventually the Grizzlies just settled on playing man-to-man defense.
Del Norte will be back in action in Grants Pass this week, playing in the Hidden Valley Invitational. The invitational will be a three-team round robin style competition, rather than a bracket style tournament.
Del Norte will open against North Marion before playing Cascade Christian and wrapping up against Banks. All three teams are from Oregon.
“North Marion is a good school. I don’t know much about Cascade Christian but I think they are in Brookings League. Then we play Banks, and the Hidden Valley coach said they will probably beat us by 30. We are just looking forward to the competition. We are excited. We need three great practices this week and we will try to go 3-0 over the weekend.”