The Ventura College men's basketball team dropped a conference game at Los Angeles Pierce Saturday, 75-66. Jalon Wilson led the Pirates (7-12, 0-3) with 18 points before leaving the floor with an injury late in the game. Vondel Faniel nearly posted a double-double with eight points and 11 rebounds.
Both teams started erratically Saturday afternoon in Woodland Hills with more combined turnovers than points through the first ten minutes of the contest. As the first half went on, Pierce took their largest lead of the half up to seven, 14-7. The Pirates would strike back, however, thanks to Eric Davis' driving slam, Toure Atwater's work on the offensive glass and Jalon Wilson's perfect 5-5 shooting from the perimeter. Despite the sloppy play, the Pirates were only down four at the break, 38-34.
Jalon Wilson led the Pirates with 15 at intermission, while Atwater added seven points to go with five rebounds.
The second half started well with Jamal Lewis knocking down a corner three on the Pirates' first possession, cutting the Brahma lead to one. Pierce would answer with tough work on the glass, stringing their lead out to seven behind multiple second chance opportunities. The Pirates responded with 3-point plays from Jalon Wilson and Eric Davis to cut the lead back to two, 49-47. Pierce answered with forcing Pirate turnovers and capitalizing on missed Pirate block outs to take the lead back to seven, 54-47 with ten minutes left in the game.
VC continued to give Pierce second chances due to missed block out assignments, allowing Pierce to stretch their lead to 12 with eight minutes on the clock. The Pirates wouldn't make much headway as the game wrapped up, struggling to take care of the ball and finishing by the bucket allowed Pierce to take the lead out to 13. The Pirates kept battling, however, as Atwater and Steven Bush each connected for late 3-pointers, cutting the Brahma lead back under double digits. The time ran out on Ventura, however, as Pierce hung on to win 75-66.
The Pirates were paced by Wilson's 18 points, Davis finished with 13, while Atwater added 11. Faniel was close to yet another double double, scoring eight points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
The Pirates return home Wednesday to face Santa Barbara City College with tip-off scheduled for 5:00 pm. That game will be followed by the VC women at 7:00 pm.