by Brian Turrel
The Bishop Ward Lady Cyclones won the Crossroads Conference title outright Friday evening, with a 76-17 drubbing of the Barstow Lady Knights. It was Ward’s ninth consecutive win.
Ward had control of the game all night, starting with defense. Applying heavy pressure on the ball, the Cyclones also had a knack for picking off Barstow passes for turnovers that turned into fast breaks.
Guards Jimena Lopez De La Cruz and Vanesa Otero forced the tempo on offense, and drove to the basket or found forwards Perla Frayre-Delgado and Tina Rosales for scoring opportunities.
De La Cruz led the scoring with 15 points. Delgado dropped in 14, and Rosales 10. In all, 10 players scored for the Lady Cyclones.
Head coach Dominique Washington, in his first year at Ward, has the team playing at a high tempo and encouraged the team’s intensity and effort. Ward administrator Kam Ridley also credited the team’s success this year to the teamwork of a group of players with years of experience together.
Ward’s prospects next year look bright, losing only one starter to graduation. Key players like Delgado and Otero are still juniors. Freshman Mercedez Dominguez lit up the offense when she came on late, hitting 3 of 4 three-point shots.
The Lady Cyclones hold a 14-4 record going into the last two games of the season. Ward will play host to Atchison on Monday at KCKCC, tipping off at 6 p.m. The Cyclones will finish the regular season on the road at Pembroke Hill on Feb. 25, and are projected to be the host of a KSHSAA 3A playoff game on March 3.