As the Humboldt-Del Norte League and Big Five Conference schedules near the halfway mark, the Warrior basketball and wrestling teams are carrying plenty of momentum into the stretch run.
The Del Norte boys and girls wrestling teams both remained undefeated in Humboldt-Del Norte League dual meet action, as the Warriors boys defeated the St Bernard’s Crusaders and McKinleyville Panthers in succession at McKinleyville High School Wednesday evening, while the girls were victorious over the Panthers.
The Warrior girls defeated McKinleyville 66-0, with only two matches being contested, as both Claire Taylor and Danika Scott won their matches by pin in the opening round. The remaining 12 matches went to the Warriors via forfeit.
On the boys’ side, the Warriors defeated the Crusaders 84-0, with 12 of the 14 being decided by forfeit. In the lone matches that did take place, Del Norte’s Andre Aflague won by pin in the second round, while Nolan Ridgley earned a victory via pin in the opening round.
The match versus the Panthers, won by the Warriors 72-9, was equally as one sided, with with Aflague among six Warriors to win their matches via forfeit. Keadon Henderson, Davian Afdahl, Micah Malfavon, Willie Bommelyn and Mike Weiland all won their respective matches by forfeit as well.
Aaron Park won his match by disqualification in the third round, while Cruz Cerros, Skyler Moore and Kurtis Turner all earned first round victories via pin. Walker Gensaw won his match by pin in the second round.
The squad then closed out yet another busy week of action Saturday when they traveled to Eureka to compete in the North Coast Classic hosted by Eureka High School, where the Warriors placed third overall as a team despite being shorthanded.
Chaz Harrison (132 pounds) and Skyler Moore (145 pounds) both won their respective weight classes, while Kurtis Turner (170 pounds) finished second in his bracket. Walker Gensaw (152 pounds) and Michael Weiland (170 pounds) each placed third. Nolan Ridgley (145 pounds) placed fourth, Andre Aflague (113 pounds) placed fifth, with Cruz Cerros (138 pounds) and Davian Afdahl (285 pounds) each placing sixth.
The Warrior girls captured first place overall in what was a pool-bracket format, with Savannah Williams, Danika Scott and Emily Ricks each winning their respective divisions. Adenne Schaad placed second and Claire Taylor third in their brackets as well.
In junior varsity action, also in pool-bracket format, Aeneas Lopez (106 pounds), Nic-Wec Bates (145 pounds) and Jace Mintomye (152 pounds) each won their respective brackets.
The Warriors will return back to Eureka Wednesday where they will face the Loggers in Humboldt-Del Norte League dual meet action. Matches are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
The Del Norte girls varsity basketball team fell to 0-2 in the Big Five Conference and 9-7 overall, losing to the Fortuna Huskies 53-31 at Thunen Gymnasium Tuesday evening.
At the outset it appeared the Warriors were poised to break out of a recent slump that has seen the squad drop four of its last five games, including two straight at home to open conference play. After Olivia Stilwell and Kirsten Brous drilled consecutive 3-point baskets, the home team seemed to have found an offensive rhythm, taking a 10-7 lead midway into the opening quarter.
However, that would prove to be the extent of the momentum for the remainder of the evening, as the Huskies answered with a 12-1 run of their own to close out the opening quarter, and then proceeded to hold the Warriors to just two points in the second period, as the visiting team took a 26-13 advantage into intermission.
Things didn’t improve much for the Warriors on either end of the floor coming out of the locker room following the halftime break, as the Huskies used a combination of an inside-outside game offensively and a stifling zone defensive scheme to slowly widen the gap and ultimately put to rest any semblance of an attempt by the home team to gain momentum and potentially get back in the game.
With the Huskies leading by as many as 20 in the third quarter, Warrior freshman Gianna Taylor drained a 3-point field goal to give the home team its first points of the period, but by then it was becoming too little too late, as the Huskies continued to keep the Warriors from getting anything going offensively, as frustration at the lack of an offensive flow carried over onto the defensive end of the court.
Jadence Clifton led the Warriors with 10 points, eight of those coming in the second half. Taylor chipped in with eight points, including two 3-point field goals. The Warriors will attempt to get into the win column for the first time in the conference season when they travel to Arcata to take on the Tigers Thursday evening at Jerry Paul Gymnasium.
The Del Norte varsity boys basketball team continued its winning ways Wednesday evening, improving to 2-0 in Big Five Conference play and 13-1 overall with a comfortable 53-35 victory over the Fortuna Huskies at Fortuna High School.
The Warriors were never seriously challenged Wednesday evening, building a 29-15 lead at halftime and extending that advantage to as many as 25 in the fourth quarter. Omar Banuelos led the way offensively with a game-high 18 points, while Judson Pincombe added 10. It was on the defensive end of the court though, specifically over the first three quarters, that the Warriors put the clamps on the Huskies and began pulling away early. Kaleb Price proved to be a problem for the Huskies offense all evening long, leading the Warriors in rebounds and adding six blocked shots as the Huskies got little to nothing going until the final minutes of the contest with the game long since out of reach.
After dropping its first two Big Five Conference games at Thunen Gymnasium, the Del Norte girls’ varsity basketball team was hoping a change of scenery would start the process of what had become a trend of bad fortune.
Turns out a road trip was exactly what the proverbial doctor ordered, as the Warriors exploded for 29 points in the opening quarter, taking a 29-13 lead after one and not looking back in what was a 69-58 victory over the Arcata Tigers at Jerry Paul Gymnasium on the campus of Arcata High School.
Although the Tigers did manage to get within seven midway into the fourth quarter, for the most part it was all Warriors, specifically the trio of Jadence Clifton, Gianna Taylor and Kirsten Brous, who kept the Tigers at bay from the perimeter defensively while generating plenty of offense on their own end of the floor.
Clifton scored a game-high 35 points, 18 of those coming from the free throw line, while Taylor and Brous combined for five 3-point baskets at key moments, helping the Warriors maintain a cushion while preventing the Tigers from generating any sort of consistent momentum.
The Warrior girls will close out the first half of the conference season Tuesday evening when they play host to the McKinleyville Panthers at Thunen Gymnasium. The squad begins the second half of Big Five Conference play Thursday when they travel to Eureka to take on the Loggers at Jay Willard Gymnasium.
The Del Norte boys’ varsity basketball team knew they were going to be in for a battle, as the Warriors welcomed the Arcata Tigers into Thunen Gymnasium with sole possession of first place in the Big Five Conference standings on the line. Friday evening also marked a return to their home court for the first time since December 3.
In what was a tightly contested contest that lived up to its billing through the first three quarters, the Warriors ratcheted up the defensive intensity in the final eight minutes, ending the game on a 16-3 run and ultimately cruising to a 49-35 victory over the Tigers.
On a night that saw uncharacteristically cold nights from some, the Warriors were able to take full advantage of their depth, particularly on the perimeter, to both generate offense for themselves and stymie the Tigers on their own offensive end of the floor.
Damian Dowd led what was a balanced Warrior offensive attack with 10 points, many of those coming at the free throw line down the stretch. Despite being saddled by foul trouble throughout the evening, Anthony Slayton contributed nine points, while Kobe Mitchell and Kaleb Price added eight points each.
The Warriors hit the road again Wednesday when they travel to McKinleyville to take on the Panthers in hopes of closing out the first half of the conference season with an unblemished record. The squad will then return home Friday to take on the Eureka Loggers at Thunen Gymnasium on what will be Sportscaster’s Club/Superfan Night 2020.