Every time Hancock got close to taking the lead in Saturday’s championship of the Lady Bulldog Basketball Classic, SBCC responded with a surge. The 20th-ranked Vaqueros used an 11-5 run late in the contest to stretch a three-point lead to nine and went on to claim the title with a 64-50 victory in Santa Maria.
“Whenever they got momentum, we never freaked out,” said coach Sandrine Krul, whose team improved to 10-3. “I love how we always have someone to pick up another player at crucial times.
“We haven’t won an eight-team tournament in a while and this is a big deal.”
Jasmine Mata hit 7-11 shots and scored 15 points off the bench to lead SBCC. Keia Nobles (14 points) was voted MVP and Mata was all-tourney in the eight-team event.
The Vaqueros held Hancock (3-8) to 21 percent shooting (4-19) in the first half and took a 23-20 lead.
Mhiah Vickers scored 12 points with six rebounds and three steals. Sara Crane had seven points, seven rebounds and three steals. The Vaqueros managed to win despite getting no points from top scorer Brooke Amenta. She was in foul trouble all game and played a total of eight minutes before fouling out.
Kendall Scott topped the Bulldogs with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Santa Barbara’s defense forced 30 turnovers.
The Vaqueros led 43-40, then went on an 11-5 run with Vickers scoring baskets to start and end the spurt. Nobles also had a three-point play during the run that stretched the lead to 54-45 with 2:28 to play.