The Del Norte Warriors boys basketball team secured a 56-43 win on their home court against the Middletown Mustangs in the opening round of the North Coast Section Division IV playoffs on Wednesday night, Feb. 19.
The fifth-seeded Warriors came out strong in the first half and took a 36-20 lead into halftime. In the third quarter, the 12th-seeded Mustangs pushed back and brought the gap closer. At one point, they trailed by only six points.
Del Norte did not give up its lead though.
“I thought we came out with a lot of energy and played hard and played well early on,” DNHS coach Marc Slayton said. “Just getting the first win in the North Coast Section, getting the bugs out.”
Anthony Slayton, Omar Banuelos and Kobe Mitchell can take much of the credit for the Warriors’ win. Slayton scored 20 points, while Mitchell had 10. Banuelos, who scored 16, continued his stellar play, according to coach Slayton.
“I‘ve just been blessed with a great group of young men that are good basketball players and come to practice and work hard,” he said. “We’re senior driven. We have six seniors on the team and a few juniors that have helped get us to where we are right now.”
Next Del Norte will head down to San Francisco on Saturday, Feb. 22, to face the fourth-seeded San Francisco University High School Red Devils in a Division IV quarterfinal match at 5:30 p.m.
Coach Slayton says he still needs more information on the Red Devils before developing his game plan, so for now, the Warriors are just focusing on putting a full game together.
“Have to do that if we want to move on to the next round. Last night, [we] played pretty poorly with low energy. Can't afford to do that against a number No. 4 seed,” he said.
The 15th-seeded Warriors girls basketball team lost to second-seeded St. Patrick-St. Vincent 66-48 in their NCS Div. IV opening-round playoff game in Vallejo.