CORPUS CHRISTI — In order for the Santa Rosa Warriors to continue on their quest to make the Class 3A state finals, they would first have to take care of the Dilley Wolves.
The Warriors didn’t miss a beat as they conquered the Wolves 91-41 in their Class 3A area-round playoff game Friday night at Corpus Christi Ray High School.
Senior guard Leo Lara led the team in scoring with 24 points and teammate Monico Prado finished right behind him, notching 21of his own.
Warriors head coach Juan Cipriano always preaches to his team to start strong and finish the game with that same intensity.
“Last year it was a problem where we were behind in games and we did so more often than not,” Cipriano said. “This year we made it a point of emphasis to get off to good starts and carry on that momentum to the end.”
Prado had a monster first quarter, scoring 10 of his 21 in the frame to help the Warriors establish a 23-6 lead.
“They were finding me pretty early, getting me involved and I was able to make my shots; I couldn’t really ask for anything more,” Prado said.
The inexperience of the Wolves continued to show in the game as they couldn’t develop any type of offensive rhythm against the Warriors.
Four minutes into the second quarter, the Wolves barely reached the 10-point mark and were sent home packing after Lara had back-to-back blocks in one possession.
Santa Rosa took a 46-14 lead at the end of the half and never looked back.
Senior Matthew Garcia kept the pace for the Warriors as he erupted in the third quarter with four rebounds, one steal and 11 points.
“I had a talk with him at the half because I knew he could play better than that and he responded well,” said Cipriano of Garcia.
Garcia finished with 17 points as the second string of the Warriors finished the game to take the 40-point victory.
“We’re just going to focus on the next team we have in front of us and not look too far ahead with our goal in reach,” said Prado.
The Warriors’ next opponent will be London in the regional quarterfinals early next week.