Del Norte fends off Center on home court

Center’s Alexis Varela (22) defends Kendra Parra (24) of Del Norte during Friday’s game. Both girls led their respective teams in scoring. (VC/Jiron)

DEL NORTE — The girls basketball squad of Del Norte picked up their second win in the new gym by knocking off Center 57-36.

The Tigers christened the new gym on Thursday night when they took on the formerly tenth-ranked Ignacio Bobcats. Del Norte (8-1) was riding high on a three-game winning streak entering their weekend tilt with Center. The Vikings (6-5) also played Thursday night taking care of business, 42-17, against league rival South Park in a non-league game.

Center refused to back down from the top ten ranked Del Norte Tigers on Saturday night. The Vikings even took a 5-4 lead off a free throw by senior Brandy Almeida. Del Norte would retake the lead with a 4-point run but the Vikings stuck around closing the first quarter trailing the host Tigers 17-10.

Del Norte continued an 11-point run that spilled over into the second quarter with Kendra Parra and Gabby Jones combining for 10 points during the scoring streak. Center’s Almeida would stop the bleeding picking up three points on back-to-back trips to the free-throw line.

Center pieced together a 6-point run with two baskets credited to Alexis Varela to salvage a dangerous situation and close the first half trailing the Tigers 30-21.  The Tigers made the most of the opportunities in the first half. While preliminary stats show they only had two more attempts than the visitors they were more accurate hitting 44 percent of their shots from the field to the Vikings 32 percent.

The second half opened with both teams combining for three trips to the charity stripe. After the first successful field attempt of the half from Center’s Elexus Trujillo, Del Norte put together nine unanswered points to go ahead 41-24 late in the third quarter, the Tigers would close the quarter leading 49-28. Del Norte pressed their commanding lead in the final 8 minutes to earn the win.

The league game between Del Norte and Center will take place in Center on February 8th. Kendra Parra paced all Del Norte scorers with 22 points on Saturday night, followed closely by junior Gabby Jones who netted 15 in the win. For Center, it was Brandy Almeida and Alexis Varela combining for 22 points.

The win makes it four in a row for the Del Norte ladies who will stay home for a visit from Sargent (5-4, 1-0 SPL) on Friday, Jan. 24 before departing on a 6-game road trip that will last to Valentine’s Day. Center will be home for a meeting with Sanford (5-4, 1-0 SPL) on Friday, Jan. 24.

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