Warriors earn return trip to Sweet 16

LA FERIA — There was approximately a 20-minute wait to enter the La Feria High School gymnasium on Tuesday for the Class 3A regional quarterfinal game between the Santa Rosa Warriors and the Corpus Christi London Pirates.

With the game so close to home, Warriors fans didn’t hesitant to fill the stands and they left extremely happy and satisfied as they witnessed their beloved team dismantle the Pirates 90-40 to advance to the Region IV-3A tournament in Seguin for the second time in a row.

The Warriors now advance to the regional semifinals where they’ll face Poth at 6 p.m. on Friday at Seguin High School.

“I loved the environment and the Pirates were going to be a tougher team than what we faced before, but the kids’ hard work paid off,” said Warriors head coach Juan Cipriano.

Santa Rosa was a little shell shocked after establishing a 7-0 lead in the beginning minutes only to have it cut to four at 19-15 score at the end of the first quarter.

The Warriors then came to life after a Monico Prado layup helped Santa Rosa take a 14-point lead at 29-15 with 6:37 left in the second quarter.

“The guys were trying to get the foul with their attempts at the basket,” Cipriano said. “I told them to just run the offense since they weren’t drawing the foul anyway and we were able to sink our shots on the outside.”

Santa Rosa was able to limit the Pirates to just eight points in the second period and finished the first half with a 42-23 lead.

The Warriors didn’t take their foot off the gas as Jonah Agado was on fire from beyond the perimeter, sinking four of his game-high six 3-pointers in the third quarter.

“I feel like a prophet because I told the others before the season that Jonah would help us out tremendously and he showed up tonight,” said Cipriano.

The Warriors hit seven threes in the period, which gave them their biggest lead of the night at 74-32 at the end of the third.

Senior sensation Leo Lara lead the team in scoring with 25 points followed by Agado’s 18 and Monico Prado, who pitched in 16 of his own.

Tuesday’s 50-point victory now gives the Warriors the opportunity to advance once again to the Region IV-3A tournament final, where they lost a one-point heartbreaker to Aransas Pass in 2016.