Warriors cruise to their 13th straight district crown

SANTA ROSA — On the verge of claiming the District 32-3A title on Tuesday, the Santa Rosa Warriors first had to take care of business against the visiting Lyford Bulldogs.

With little trouble, the Warriors accomplished their goal of becoming league champs as they stampeded the Bulldogs 105-59.

But not only did the Warriors clinch the conference crown, they did so for the 13th straight time and capped off a perfect district season at 8-0.

“It’s a great accomplishment anytime we are able to achieve something like this,” said Warriors head coach Juan Cipriano.

Senior guard Leo Lara lead the team in scoring with 37 points, snatching four steals and grabbing 10 rebounds as well.

“I’ve had a lot of great players before and the thing I like about Leo is that he remains humble,” Cipriano said “Most of all, he cares about his teammates and instead of focusing on stats, he’s more concerned with getting a win.”

Although Santa Rosa won by a hefty margin on Tuesday, Cipriano made it a point of emphasis for the Warriors to establish themselves early on and finish strong.

“I told the team before the game that Lyford had slowed them down (earlier in the season) and to play with some pride tonight,” said Cipriano “For the seniors, it’s the last of something, and every game from here on out could be their final time playing in a Warriors uniform.”

With that being said, the Warriors never let their guard down against the Bulldogs and led by as many as 31 points in the contest.

Santa Rosa finished with a total of 13 steals – nine of which came in the first half – and grabbed 32 rebounds to finish the game.

Warriors shooting guard Matt Garcia finished second behind Lara in scoring with 25 points, one steal and eight rebounds.

Moving ahead, the Warriors now will rest for a short while before starting their playoff journey next week. Last season, the Warriors came within one point of advancing to the state’s final four.

“Coaching a team like this makes my job a bit easier because the athletes give it all they have every game,” said Cipriano “That’s all I can ever ask of them, but we know bigger and better things are ahead of us.”