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First day loss for Hawks at MC Holiday Hoops
Delhi 2
Delhi senior Arnold Perez (left) goes in for a basket during Tuesdays 77-40 loss to Immanuel. Perez was second on the team in scoring with 12 points for the game. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

Delhi High boys basketball head coach Brian de la Porte has been preaching all season long that their extremely competitive preseason schedule will only make the team better in the long run.

That's true, and Tuesday made it much more clear the caliber of teams that the Hawks are taking on when they opened up the first day of the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops tournament against Immanuel of Reedley in a loss that ended 77-40.

“We struggled against taller teams this year but our guys competed today,” said de la Porte. “I know we lost by 37, but that is a big time team and our boys played their tails off and our two top contributors in Chance and Arnold had good games and I was proud of our kids.”

Chance Browning finished with a team-high 18 points. Arnold Perez added 12. Combined both had 30 of the team's 40 points.

It didn't help that the Hawks of Delhi were the shorter team compared to the much taller Immanuel squad, whose players averaged well over six feet.

Delhi has just two players over six feet.

“We told our kids we are going to come in and try to compete and play as hard as we can and not look at the score and that is what we did today,” said de la Porte. “I was proud of our guys, it's why we come here, to get better and see these teams and hopefully we make the playoffs.”

Delhi was taking on an Immanuel team that improves to 6-3. All three losses have been by nine points or less.

Delhi falls to 3-9.

“I know we are 3-9 now, but we have played some big time teams this preseason,” said de la Porte. “If we wanted to play a soft schedule we could easily be 9-3, and our kids know that but our main focus is to be ready for Mariposa when league rolls through and this tournament is going to prepare us for that, that is why we are here.”

Delhi will next take on the loser between Clovis East and Manteca at 10:30 a.m. today.