WBK: Key WSC game goes to Cuesta

Aria Johnson hit two free throws with 21.6 seconds to go Wednesday night and SBCC missed a 16-foot jumper with three seconds left as Cuesta held on for a 54-52 women’s basketball victory in a battle for second place in San Luis Obispo.

It was the third loss in four games for the Vaqueros (17-10, 5-3), who are ranked No. 20 in the state and No. 11 in Southern Cal. Cuesta, rated No. 12 in Southern Cal, improved to 18-9 and 6-2.

Brooke Amenta scored 15 for Santa Barbara and Taylor DeSilva had 10.

The Vaqueros took a 27-19 lead on a jumper by Keia Nobles with 3:30 to go in the first half. Cuesta pulled within four at intermission, 29-25.

“We played well in the first half but had too many turnovers in the second half,” said coach Sandrine Krul. “We need to win our last two games to be assured of a playoff spot. We looked a little rattled down the stretch tonight.

“I think we need a day off to regroup.”

Jasmine Mata canned an 18-footer to tie the game at 52 with 1:30 to play. Amenta stole a pass and Sara Crane had a chance to put the Vaqueros ahead but missed two free throws with 24.6 seconds left.

After Aria’s free throws, the Vaqueros called timeout with 12.7 seconds. The ball was knocked away by a defender and Amenta couldn’t get her 16-footer to fall.

The Vaqueros host L.A. Pierce on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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