WBK: Vaqueros fall in Antelope Valley final

AJ Newton scored 18 of her game-high 27 points in the second half on Sunday, leading No. 5 Foothill past No. 19 SBCC 66-59 for the championship of the Antelope Valley Women’s Basketball Holiday Tournament.

The Vaqueros, who led 32-27 at halftime, had their five-game win streak snapped and fell to 12-4. Newton, a 5-2 point guard, hit 4-of-6 from 3-point land and also had six steals. Chelsea Salom added 19 points for Foothill (10-3).

Brooke Amenta topped SBCC with 16 points and eight rebounds. She was a perfect 8-8 on free throws and made the all-tourney team, along with Mhiah Vickers (11 points, 4 rebounds).

Keia Nobles scored 10 points and Sara Crane had nine points, four rebounds and four assists.

The Vaqueros were outshot 37.7 to 36 percent and commited 29 turnovers while forcing 33. The difference came at the free-throw line where the Owls made 16-23 compared to 10-16 for SBCC.

Foothill took control with an 18-6 run that produced a 10-point lead (59-49) with 5:49 to play. SBCC responded with a 10-3 spurt, capped by a 3-pointer from Nobles that shaved the deficit to 62-59 at the 1:18 mark.

“We played hard, their No. 3 (Newton) just went off in the second half,” said coach Sandrine Krul. “We were only down by three with a minute to play. We missed open shots down the stretch and had too many turnovers.

“It’s a little disappointing but we showed we’re just as good as the No. 5 team in the state. We just came up a little short.”
The Vaqueros will take the next 10 days off before opening play in the Grossmont Holiday Tournament against Santa Ana on Dec. 27.

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