SBCC Men's Basketball Highlights 40th Anniversary of "The Classic"
College: Santa Barbara City College
Subject: Physical Education
Failla nets season-best 21 in Classic win
Vaqueros ride big second half into consolation final
Rico Failla ignited a 20-0 SBCC streak by scoring his team's first eight points of the second half on Friday night and the Vaqueros used a big second half to top Victor Valley 69-50 in the consolation semifinals of the 40th annual SBCC Classic.
Failla, a 6-2 freshman guard from Bainbridge, Wash., finished with a season-high 21 points, hitting 5-of-9 from the field and a perfect 10-10 from the free-throw line. He also had six rebounds and three steals.
Jalani Davis added 13 points and six boards while Logan Louks had eight points. Zach Templeton had five assists off the bench. All 14 Vaqueros got into the game and 12 scored.
Santa Barbara will meet Bakersfield in the consolation final on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Renegades beat L.A. Valley 80-67 in Friday's opening game.
SBCC (3-5) trailed for much of the first half but ended on a 13-6 run to earn a 26-26 tie. After Cailyn Patton hit a short bank for Victor Valley to open the second half, Failla made a lefty layup, a three-point play on a reverse layup and three free throws to ignite the 20-0 burst that gave the Vaqueros a 46-28 lead with 14:51 to play.
Louks and Pablo Miranda capped the run with back-to-back 3-pointers.
"We were really frustrated at halftime because we felt we weren't working as hard as we should have," said Failla. "We thought we were better than them. We talked about intensity at the half, then came out and forced a lot of turnovers.
The Vaqueros used their defense and full-court pressure to force 26 turnovers, leading to 28 points. SBCC outscored the Rams (0-5) 43-24 in the final 20 minutes, thanks to a 51 to 32 percent shooting advantage.
The 50 points were a season low for the Vaquero defense.
"Our main focus right now is trying to put a complete game together," said Failla. "As long as we're getting after it and working together, it usually works out pretty well."
The Vaqueros trailed 16-8 after 8½ minutes as the Rams hit four treys in the early going. SBCC took its first lead, 26-24, on a fast-break layup by Louks with 14 seconds left in the first half.
Louks tossed in a half-court shot that came just tenths of a second after the halftime buzzer.
"We got off to a real sluggish start, our defense wasn't solid and they were scoring too easy," said coach Morris Hodges. "They came out in a 2-3 zone and we were shooting quick and settling for jump shots.
"At halftime, I wasn't happy with our defense and our focus on execution. Obviously the message got through because the guys really came out with a focused and intense effort, particularly on the defensive end."
Defending tourney champ Hancock got 25 points from Leron Fisher and a double-double from Josh Varney (21 points, 14 rebounds) to beat Cypress 83-74. The Bulldogs (8-2) will meet either No. 4 Mt. San Antonio for the championship on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Mt. SAC topped Pasadena 79-66 in Friday's second semifinal. It was the ninth straight win for the Mounties (10-1).
Cypress and Pasadena will battle for third place at 5 p.m.