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Del Norte runs by Crater in tourney


-- The unbeaten Del Norte High Warriors of Crescent City, Calif., used their inside-outside combination to near-perfection Tuesday night.

Center Charles Webster and point guard Buck Pierce combined for 33 points to propel the Warriors to a 57-36 win over Crater in the opening round of the Airport Chevrolet Shootout boys basketball tournament in the Crater gym.

Webster, a 6-foot-5 center, scored 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds for Del Norte, and Pierce had 16 points and six assists.

The Warriors improved to 9-0 going into tonight's tournament championship game against Crook County. The game will start at 7 p.m.

In the other first-round game, Crook County topped Eagle Point, 67-41, behind 19 points from 6-6 forward Jared Abell.

Crater (2-5) will meet Southern Oregon Conference rival Eagle Point (0-6 ) in the third-place game today at 5 p.m.

Del Norte head coach Kirk Burrows said the Warriors had too many athletes for Crater.

We were able to go inside and hurt them, said Burrows. But it's a credit to Crater that they hung in with us and battled hard. I feel our two big kids (6-5 Spencer Hoke and Webster) are as good as anybody inside that we will play.

The Warriors outscored Crater 18-7 in just under eight minutes of the first half to turn a 9-8 deficit into a 26-16 lead with 1:56 left in the second quarter. Pierce was in the middle of the Del Norte surge with 10 points, including a 3-point field goal and three-point play late in the first quarter.

Leading 26-19 at halftime, the Warriors outscored Crater 13-7 in the third period to build the lead to 39-26. They coasted to the win from there.

We kept attacking and made some runs, said Burrows. We're the new kids on the block in Northern California, and nobody knows us that well because we're at the far north end of the state.

Hopefully, we'll get them to notice us this year. I've been here 10 years, and we've had more and more success.

Crater was led by 6-foot-3 forward Josh Jones with nine points and eight rebounds. Guard Steve Darnell and 6-7 center Andy Haas both scored eight points for the Comets, and wing Brent Foster scored seven.

They (the Warriors) were more athletic than we were and they put some big hands in our faces, said Crater coach Matt Meunier. We tried to get into the lanes and drive, but they would close them off with their big people.

They play good man-to-man defense, and they have big, strong people with good athleticism. That's a tough combination to try to score against. We had good moments, and then we would drop off for three or four minutes. You can't do that against a good team.

DEL NORTE (57)-- Ortega 1, Lee 0, Daniels 0, Ridgley 1, Ramirez 5, Pierce 16, Shepherd 10, Clifton 2, Pulley 0, Hoke 5, Webster 17.

CRATER (36)-- Price 0, Wright 0, Petersen 4, Jones 9, Darnell 8, Foster 7, Haas 8, Davis 0.

Del Norte

..........16 10 13 18 -- 57 Crater

..................10 9 7 10 -- 36

3-point goals -- Del Norte — (Pierce), Crater — (Darnell 2, Foster 1). Fouled out -- Price.

EAGLE POINT (41)-- S. Gray 11, Campbell 1, Crawford 0, Fisher 3, Gray 7, Nackerud 3, Acrey 6, Kleker 10.

CROOK COUNTY (67)-- Dustin 8, K. Gray 7, Eckman 5, McCarthy 9, Abell 19, Lucas 7, Pinkston 12.

Eagle Point

............6 15 6 9 -- 41 Crook County

....14 18 17 18 -- 67

3-point goals -- Eagle Point 4 (S. Gray 2, Fisher 1, K. Gray 1), Crook County 4 (McCarthy 2, Lucas 1, Pinkston 1.