By Aidan Fitzsimon
Behind a game-high 26 points from junior guard Alyssa Dela Cruz the Burton girls basketball team cruised to a 59-46 non-league win on the road against Immaculate Conception Academy on Wednesday.
The Pumas (4-1) got 20 points from Dela Cruz in the first half, including 14 in the second quarter, and had a strong contribution from junior Veronica Henry, who added 14 points.
“I always want to have a good mentality, I want to make sure I can move the ball around [and] the main thing is to make sure my whole team is involved,” Dela Cruz said.
The Spartans (7-3) got a spark from junior guard Cynthia Sosa-Cativo, who finished with 15 points and ran the offense all night. Sosa-Cativo showed an immediate sense of urgency after sophomore point guard Lynelle Magat went down with an ankle injury early in the second quarter.
“My star point guard went out, so that was tough, but I’m proud of the team,” said ICA head coach Nicole Dinas. “They’re doing everything I ask them . . . and all I can ask is that they continue to play hard.”
The game appeared to be out of reach after three quarters, with the Pumas ahead 53-33, but ICA got back in it with a high-pressure, full-court defense. The Spartans outscored the Pumas 13-6 in the final frame, but the deficit was too much to overcome.
The Pumas are off to a fast start in non-league play and will continue to prepare for Academic Athletic Association opponents, but will be significant underdogs against the traditional powers of the league.
“Against those schools on the west side of the City – they are all sound squads on both ends of the court, so we just have to hope to continue to improve and do our best come league play,” said Burton head coach Brian Jackson.
Alyssa Dela Cruz – 26
Veronica Henry – 14
Annie Zhao – 10
Deliny Lopez – 9
Cynthia Sosa-Cativo – 15
Gloria Anyanwu – 5
Four players tied with 4 points