The Del Norte varsity boys’ basketball team saw its 2019-20 season come to an end in the quarterfinal round of the North Coast Section Division IV playoffs, as the No. 5 seed Warriors fell to the No. 4 seed University Red Devils 65-58 at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco Saturday evening. The Warriors finish their season with a 23-2 overall record that includes the program’s first outright Big Five Conference championship since 2010 and a Dick Niclai postseason tournament title.
After making a 300+ mile trek in a two-day period, the Warriors seemed to have suffered little effects of the trip in the early stages of the game, as the Warriors took a 32-26 lead into the locker room at halftime.
However, the momentum switched quickly and dramatically coming out of the locker room to start the second half, as the Red Devils wasted little time in erasing the halftime deficit, knotting the game at 34-34 in short order. Following a Price 3-point goal that gave the Warriors back a 37-34 lead, the avalanche began to take full effect.
Unlike Wednesday’s first round contest that saw No. 15 Middletown cut what had been a 16-point deficit down to six only to see the Warriors regroup and eventually pull away, Saturday’s game didn’t have the same magic, as the Red Devils simply stepped on the gas while the Warriors seemed to, well, run out of gas. All told the Red Devils outscored the Warriors 39-26 in the second half, as a historic three-month Warrior run came to an abrupt end.
In what was his final game in a Warrior uniform, senior Omar Banuelos finished with a game-high 27 points, while junior Kaleb Price added 14.