Vaqueros ride fast start to 83-69 win over Merced

Destinee King and Jeanie Pattison recorded season highs on Thursday night with 27 and 18 points, respectively, to guide SBCC to an 83-69 women’s basketball victory over Merced in the first round of the Santa Ana Tournament.

The Vaqueros (4-4) used a 10-0 run in the opening quarter to built a 17-6 advantage. They led 23-11 after the first quarter, 38-31 at halftime, then outscored the Blue Devils by 11 in the third period to stretch the margin to 18 points at 65-47.

King needed just 25 minutes to score her season-best 27 points, hitting 10-12 from the field and 7-9 from the free-throw line. She grabbed eight rebounds, helping the Vaqueros to a 48-32 advantage on the boards.

Pattison had 18 points, seven assists, six rebounds and five steals to help the Vaqueros record their third straight victory. Kay Phosakham added eight points, Kesler Johnson had eight rebounds and Hannah Rogers collected six points and six boards in 14 minutes.

Jocelin Petatan, a freshman guard/forward from Santa Barbara High, added seven points, six rebounds and four assists.

“We played really well and played together as a team for 40 minutes,” said 12th-year head coach Sandrine Krul. “Our running game got us going along with our press. We’re really working our team chemistry and trusting each other on the court. “We’re shooting well and taking high-percentage shots.”

The Vaqueros outshot the Blue Devils 45.0 to 23.5 percent in the opening quarter and 64.7 to 41.7 in the third period, when they outscored Merced 27-16. After falling behind by 13 early in the second quarter, the Blue Devils closed within seven at the half but the Vaqueros opened the third quarter on a 23-10 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Elissa Root that gave them their largest lead at 61-41 with 2:07 to go in the third period.

SBCC will take on Santa Ana on Friday in the second semifinal at 8 p.m. Moorpark and San Bernardino Valley will clash in the first semifinal at 6 p.m.