SANTA ROSA — It’s no surprise that the Santa Rosa Warriors have made it this far in the UIL state playoffs.
With a jaw-dropping 90-point average this postseason, the Warriors have been crushing opponents along the way and have become the Valley’s best chance for winning a state basketball title.
An award of that magnitude would be the perfect cherry on top for a few seniors who are making their final run as a Santa Rosa Warrior.
With that goal at hand, Matthew Garcia and Monico Prado have their eyes set on making their last impression a good one.
Santa Rosa is set to take on the Poth Pirates at 6 tonight in the Region IV-3A tournament semifinals at Seguin High School.
Last year, the Warriors advanced to the regional finals only to drop a heartbreaker to Aransas Pass.
The Valley Morning Star sat down with Garcia and Prado to discuss their feelings as they head into their pivotal game against Poth.
Should the Warriors win tonight, they would play either Schulenburg or Odem in the Region IV-3A final at 1 p.m. on Saturday, also at Seguin High School, for the right to advance to the UIL 3A state tournament in San Antonio next week.
Q: How’s your experience been as a Warrior?
Garcia: Playing for the Warriors has been great. We put in a lot of work in the offseason and it’s all paying off. I was expecting us to make it this far and we want to be the team to represent the Valley.
Prado: We’ve had a tremendous season and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Being a Warrior has been awesome in that we have a great fan base and everyone knows who the Warriors are when it comes to basketball.
Q: How would you describe Monico’s style of play?
Garcia: He has a good work ethic in that he pushes everyone to do better in practice and in the game. His basketball IQ is really high in that he makes smart passes and takes smart shots as well.
Q. Describe Matthew’s style of play?
Prado: This is my first year playing with him since I transferred from Harlingen South and it didn’t take long for us to develop our chemistry. He’s an all-around player in that he can guard the big man down low, dribble the ball, shoot well from the outside and I know he’ll always have my back on the court.
Q: Was there pressure being ranked No. 2 in the state all season?
Garcia: No. Losing the heartbreaker to Aransas Pass last year gave us more motivation coming into this season to play harder.
Prado: Coach (Juan Cipriano) always told us that we had the biggest target on our back being ranked and to never ease up because other teams would love to take us down. We just played our game and that has led us to where we are now.
Q: What are you going to miss about playing basketball at Santa Rosa?
Garcia: I’m going to miss hanging out with my teammates and the good times we had, let alone playing the game I love.
Prado: Playing with my cousin (Leo Lara) and being a part of the team in the ride that we’ve had this season. Not being able to play ball will be different because it’s been my main sport growing up.
Q: How do you feel about your chances this weekend and of making it to the state tournament?
Garcia: I feel good about our chances these next few games and if we play to our potential, we should be able to win.
Prado: We’re confident in the way we’re playing on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Our ultimate goal is to reach the (regional) finals and win it. We want nothing less than that.