Basketball

Warriors comfortably advance to Niclai championship 

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File photo – Del Norte’s Kobe Mitchell

The Del Norte Warriors comfortably advanced to Friday night’s Dick Niclai boys championship game with a 54-31 win over Ferndale in Crescent City on Wednesday.

With the win, their 18th straight, the Warriors improved to 21-1 on the season and will now face off against conference rival Arcata once again as they close in on a Big 5 and Niclai tournament double.

“Arcata’s a good basketball team,” Del Norte head coach Marc Slayton said. “They’re physical, they get after it, and they’re well coached.”

The Warriors won both regular season games with the Tigers, getting the better of them by 14 points at home and barely beating them by two on the road.

Friday’s championship showdown will take place at HSU’s Lumberjack Arena.

“We’ve had two pretty close games with them,” Slayton said. “They’ll be ready to go and we’ll be ready to go.”

Kaleb Price continued his impressive season in Wednesday’s win, scoring a team-high 13 points as the Warriors took control of the game early and led by 25 at halftime against the Little 4 opposition.

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File photo

Omar Banuelos added 11 points and Damian Dowd 10, with the head coach going deep to his bench in the second half.

“I was happy with the way we shared the ball and the way we attacked the boards,” Slayton said. “At the offensive and defensive end.”

Ferndale dropped to 15-11 with the loss.

“Ferndale played hard,” Slayton said. “They tried to get after us. We were just a little bit stronger than they were tonight.”

Friday’s Niclai decider is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and will be played as part of a doubleheader along with the girls championship.

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