St. Vincent opened play in the North Central League IV basketball chase with a 42-25 win over outmanned Calistoga in DeCarli Gym on Tuesday.
The Mustangs blew the game open in the second period when they outscored the tiring Wildcats, 24-6. Calistoga suited only six players, and had no defensive answer for the taller hosts, who dominated them at the hoop with superior numbers.
Sophomore Tyler Pease of St. Vincent had one of his best offensive games of the season with 15 points and six rebounds. Pease established good inside position on the low block against the Wildcat defenders, and banked in eight points in the opening half with the aid of well-directed feeds from his teammates from the perimeter.
Miguel Bunting took command of the entire floor, and was able to make several entry passes to Pease, who leaned in for angle shots as the Mustangs led, 31-15, at half. Bunting had seven assists, and also canned three shots from outside the arc in the first half. Bunting backed Pease with 11 points.
A.J. Fetter had seven points off the bench for the Mustangs, all in the first half when the game was decided.
A rough second half was played on even terms as Mustang coach Scott Himes rotated his entire bench into the game, and all St. Vincent players got significant minutes.
It was a bounce-back win for the Mustangs after they dropped a narrow 46-43 verdict to visiting St. Bernard of Eureka on Saturday afternoon.
Shooting guard Jasiel Flores had 11 points for the Wildcats as they slipped to 4-8 for the season.
Wildcat guards attempted to penetrate the painted area against St. Vincent, but wound up being forced to hoist acrobatic but low-percentage shots.
Both teams were playing their first league contest in its division of the North Central League. Other teams exchanging home and home dates in the league are Roseland Collegiate of Santa Rosa, Technology of Rohnert Park and Sonoma Academy. There are no planned playoff games with the NCL II league. The Mustangs will host league favorite Sonoma Academy in an early test on Friday at DeCarli Gym.
Girls hold on
In the companion feature game on Tuesday, the St. Vincent girls outlasted Calistoga, 40-34, to improve their record to 8-7 for the season.
Alex Ditizio scored 20 points to lead the way for the Lady Mustangs, including three shots from distance. Sophia Licata tossed in nine points and point guard Alexandra Saisi added seven points and five steals.
Both teams had only six suited players, and the Mustangs were never able to distance themselves from the feisty Lady Wildcats. The score at one point was chopped to 30-28 early in the fourth stanza, before St. Vincent held on for the win.