By John Honell, Correspondent
It wasn’t pretty, but the Bishop Amat girls basketball team, making its fourth consecutive appearance in the CIF State playoffs, gave coach Richard Wiard his 500th career victory with a 48-29 win over El Camino Real on Wednesday.
The Lancers (25-9)will play at Narbonne, the Los Angeles City Champion, in the second round of the CIF-State Division I Basketball Championships Saturday at 7 p.m.
Showing the effects of last Friday’s heartbreaking loss in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1A championship game, the Lancers struggled in the first half but used a 13-2 run at the start of the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
“It was kind of an ugly game,” Wiard said. “They hadn’t played in a while and we were maybe a little lethargic coming off last week.”
Mauriana Clayton dominated on the boards and Paulina Santana scored 12 of her team-high 17 points in the second half.
Clayton had 13 points and Leeah Powell added 10 for the Lancers.
Jennifer Vasquez had the unenviable job of guarding the Conquistadors’ Cora Chan, who scored 10 of her team’s 11 points in the first half. Chan led all scorers with 24 points.
“Jennifer did a really good job the whole game,” Wiard said. “There was a stretch where she picked up her third foul and had to take her out but that girl is a college level guard and we made her work for all her points.”
Of his 500th win Wiard said, “It means I’ve been coaching a long time with very good players. I’ve had a lot of assistants through the years, my wife (Kathy), my daughter (Kelly) and now my son (Scott), but you win with good players. We’ve probably had 20-25 college players.
“That’s how you win, with good players.”