Vickers leads Vaqueros into Lady Bulldog final

Mhiah Vickers came off the bench to score 16 points on Friday night and SBCC beat WSC North rival Cuesta 61-46 to move into the championship game at the Hancock Lady Bulldog Classic.

Vickers hit 4-of-9 from 3-point range for the Vaqueros, ranked No. 20 in the state and 15th in Southern Cal. SBCC improved to 9-3 while Cuesta fell to 6-2.

The Vaqueros ended the first half on a 9-0 run and took a 26-17 lead on a buzzer-beating triple by Jasmine Mata (10 points, four rebounds). Brooke Amenta had 12 points and six rebounds while Sara Crane added seven rebounds and eight assists.

“We went on mini-runs near the end of both halves to pull away,” said coach Sandrine Krul. “We had really good ball movement, leading to wide-open shots. It was beautiful to watch.”

Both teams shot 37 percent and the Vaqueros forced 25 turnovers. SBCC led by five with 8:32 to play, then went on a 13-6 spurt to build a 57-45 advantage with 4:05 remaining.

Santa Barbara will play county rival Hancock in Saturday’s championship game at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs edged Barstow 53-50.

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