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Vaqueros win another close one to reach final of De Anza tourney

Lauren Noggle, a 6-foot sophomore from Dos Pueblos High, had four points, four rebounds and played strong defense. (File photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Lauren Noggle, a 6-foot sophomore from Dos Pueblos High, had four points, four rebounds and played strong defense. (File photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Aaliyah Pauling scored 18 points for the second straight day on Friday and SBCC played solid defense to hold off Monterey Peninsula 56-53 in the semifinals of the Gervasoni Holiday Classic at De Anza College in Cupertino.

Pauling finished with 18 points, six rebounds and seven assists for the Vaqueros, who improved to 10-4. Santa Barbara is 5-0 in games decided by six points or less.

The Vaqueros fell behind 17-12 after a quarter and trailed 29-26 at intermission. They turned things around with a 14-8 third-quarter streak.

Maaria Jaakkola, a sophomore guard/forward from Finland and Dos Pueblos High, hit 3-4 from 3-point range and scored a season-high nine points with three rebounds and two assists. Jada Forsdick-Stevenson added seven points and Meagan Moore had six.

"We played everyone and everyone did their role," said coach Sandrine Krul. "We took the lead with our press and we still need to hit our open shots. Lauren (Noggle), Maaria, Hannah (Sabin) and Tatiana (Ong) all played well on defense and helped get our transition game going.

"I'm always super excited when we can play all 13 players and each one played their role when the game was on the line. Monterey plays very, very hard.
They're a scrappy team that takes you out of your comfort zone. Their 4-10 record is very deceiving."

SBCC advances to the championship game where it will take on Porterville. The Pirates (3-10) edged Las Positas 52-51 in Friday's second semifinal.