The Del Norte girls’ varsity basketball team dropped its final Big Five Conference regular season game Friday evening, falling 53-39 to the McKinleyville Panthers at McKinleyville High School in a game that saw the Warriors trail 34-12 at intermission. Despite mounting a mini-rally in the second half and outscoring the Panthers 27-19 over the final two quarters, the early hole the Warriors dug for themselves was simply too much to overcome.
Jadence Clifton led the Warriors with 17 points, while Lily Wilson and Kirsten Brous each added seven.
Although the Warriors came up short in their regular season finale Friday, due to the Fortuna Huskies victory over the Arcata Tigers in the lone other conference game Friday evening, the Warriors postseason aspirations are still intact. The road will be difficult though and begins tomorrow evening as the Warriors will play host to the Arcata Tigers at Thunen Gymnasium for the second time this week, this time in the first of what would be two Dick Niclai Tournament play-in games. Tomorrow evening’s contest is scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m., with the McKinleyville Panthers awaiting the winner in what would be a second Dick Niclai Tournament play-in game. That second play-in game would be played Monday evening at McKinleyville High School beginning at 7 p.m.
The survivor of that two games in three days gauntlet would then earn the No. 3 seed out of the Big Five Conference in the Dick Niclai Tournament and would travel to Eureka to face the No. 2 seed Loggers Tuesday evening at Jay Willard Gymnasium. The Loggers, who finished their regular season Wednesday evening, ended conference play with a 4-4 record.