The Del Norte boys basketball team struggled at the start of the Anderson Tournament on Thursday and ended up dropping a close 58-56 contest against Central Valley in overtime, sending the Warriors into the consolation bracket of the tournament. Del Norte played much better on Day 2, however, blowing out Klamath Union for a 69-24 victory to advance to today’s consolation final in Anderson.

“We just came out with much better energy, much better execution, and we played a much better game today,” said Del Norte head coach Blaine Lopez, comparing the Warriors’ play on Friday to Thursday’s game. “Especially on the defensive end. It was a total team effort. I was much more pleased with our effort and our execution tonight.”

Del Norte was a little bit sluggish on Thursday and opened the Anderson Tournament with an overtime loss at the hands of Central Valley.

“We just didn’t come out ready to play, we made a lot of mistakes and we were flat,” Lopez said. “We had a poor couple days of practice the last two days, and that is how we played.”

Although Lopez said Del Norte missed a lot of opportunities throughout the game, the Warriors still had a chance to pull out the win at the end of regulation. Lopez said Central Valley had the ball with just a few seconds to play while the Warriors’ defense tried to protect their two-point lead.

“We had them stopped, but all of a sudden we just let a guy slip by and go back door for a layup at the buzzer to tie the game,” he said.

The overtime period remained close as well, but Lopez said Del Norte ultimately committed too many turnovers and missed too many layups in the extra time as Central Valley escaped for a 58-56 overtime win.

Against Klamath Union on Friday the Warriors seemed to shake off their struggles from the previous day and took it to Klamath Union for a 45-point margin of victory.

Lopez said that Warriors looked better in nearly every facet of the game on Friday. The biggest difference for Del Norte, according to Lopez, was improved effort and execution on defense.

“We rotated much better than we did last night, we controlled the dribble much better than we did last night, and we didn’t give up as many second shots as we did last night,” Lopez said. “It was just a much better performance today.”

Although defense led the way to the win, Del Norte also picked up its game offensively against Klamath Union.

“We did a really good job of moving the ball and making one extra pass to go from a good shot to a great shot,” Lopez said. “It also helps that we made them today.”

With the win on Friday, Del Norte improved to 6-2 overall this season as the Warriors move on to today’s consolation champion game.

Del Norte is scheduled to tip off at 3:30 p.m. today against the winner of last night’s other consolation semifinal matchup between Live Oak and Trinity. Results from the game between Live Oak and Trinity were not available when the Triplicate went to press.

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