Rhiana Dougan scored a game-high 22 points, including 11 in the second quarter on 5-5 shooting to lift a nervous Pirate offense, as Ventura (2-1) pulled away from Santa Monica 78-35 in the first round of the VC-Kiwanis Tournament of Champions. Katie Campbell had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Davina Del Castillo added 16 boards with nine points in the VC win at the Athletic Event Center.
The Pirates came out with a serious turkey coma in the first quarter, connecting on five of 23 shots and missing all 11 of their attempts from 3-point range. VC finally got untracked late in the period, turning a 10-8 advantage with 1:34 remaining into a 16-8 lead at the quarter break on a pair of lay-ups from Campbell and Del Castillo, and two free throws from Campbell in the waning seconds.
Ventura closed out the 10-0 run with a pair of midrange shots from Dougan early in the second frame, posting a 20-8 advantage at the 8:43 mark. Dougan and Del Castillo assisted each other's 3-point makes, followed by another pair of buckets by Dougan and the Pirates opened up a 30-14 lead with 3:46 left in the half. Simone Lewis had a nice reverse lay-up and Mary Shirley scored a pair of baskets down low to help the Pirates to a 39-21 halftime lead.
VC left little doubt to the outcome of the game early in the third period, putting together a 14-2 run to put the Corsairs away. Dougan started it off with a deuce and a triple, and Campbell hit a pair of treys. Dougan finished the run with a driving lay-up and the Pirates led 53-23 with 5:55 remaining in the quarter. Kyleesha Green hit two free throws and a short jumper, and Lewis connected on a leaning runner as VC led 59-28 after three.
Campbell came alive early in the fourth with seven straight points for Ventura, and Christina Gonzalez, Melissa Ohmie and Celeste Salazar also got into the act. In the end, it proved to be a big win for the Pirates, 78-35.
Sienna Brown had a big day on the glass with 10 rebounds and Lewis came off the bench for eight points. Green had six points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Other scores from Friday's action in the tournament included Mt. SAC over Taft, 113-40, Long Beach over Laney, 71-64, and Sierra over Canyons, 101-58. Saturday's schedule includes Laney vs. Santa Monica at 1:00 pm and Canyons vs. Taft at 3:00 pm in the consolation rounds, and Mt. SAC vs. Sierra in one semifinal at 5:00 pm, and Ventura vs. Long Beach in the other semifinal at 7:00 pm.