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Late surge carries Napa Valley past Vaqueros, 95-77

Aaron Mejia hit 5-of-8 3-pointers in the second half when he scored 26 of his season-high 28 points. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Aaron Mejia hit 5-of-8 3-pointers in the second half when he scored 26 of his season-high 28 points. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

SBCC used a 20-7 second-half run to take a 54-51 lead on Friday night, then Napa Valley responded with a 44-23 burst in the last 14 minutes to post a 95-77 men's basketball victory at the Hancock Tournament.

Freshman guard Aaron Mejia had a huge second half for the Vaqueros (0-5), pouring in 26 of his season-high 28 points in just 16 minutes. The 5-11 left-hander from Montebello made 7-of-11 field goals in the second half, 5-8 from the 3-point line and 7-8 free throws.

Drayten Howell scored 12 of his 13 points in the first half. The Vaqueros were outshot 50 to 32.1 percent in the opening 20 minutes and trailed 44-34. Howell also had six assists and four rebounds.

Francisco Gutierrez had 10 points and three steals while Dejon Jackson added seven points and five boards.

Napa (1-2) shot nearly 60 percent while holding the Vaqueros to 34.4 percent. Ryan Smith grabbed eight rebounds but Napa won the board battle, 38-25.

SBCC committed 26 fouls and three players fouled out.

Armani Mills led a balanced attack for Napa with 16 points. Sasha French added 15 points and nine rebounds.

The Storm went on a 14-0 run to take a 42-29 lead late in the first half. The Vaqueros took their only lead of the game by putting together a 24-9 burst in the last 1:20 of the first half and the first 5:44 of the second. Mejia scored the last seven points in that run on a 3-pointer, a 2-pointer and two free throws, giving the Vaqueros a 54-51 edge with 14:16 to play.

Santa Barbara will take on county rival Hancock on Saturday in a consolation semifinal at 3 p.m. Ohlone of Fremont beat the Bulldogs 75-66 on Friday.