The night began with the Pirates honoring the 1996 and 1997 state champions with their induction into the VC Athletics Hall of Fame. It ended with a 26-point win for VC as they maintain their advantage in the Western State Conference race. Katie Campbell led four Pirates in double figures with 25 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists as Ventura (21-5, 6-0) defeated visiting Allan Hancock College 75-50 at the Athletic Event Center Saturday night.
After trading buckets for the first three minutes, the Pirates jumped ahead of the Bulldogs with a 9-2 run midway through the first quarter. Kyleesha Green scored on an inside jumper followed by a layup from Rhiana Dougan. Campbell responded to a Hancock score with a 3-pointer, then assisted a made jumper by Sienna Brown and VC led 14-7 with 4:39 remaining in the first period. Campbell stretched the lead to eight points, 17-9, with an old-fashioned 3-point play before the Bulldogs scored the next seven points to close to within one, 17-16. Celeste Salazar assisted a layup by Davina Del Castillo to close the quarter, giving VC a 19-16 advantage.
Ventura took control of the game in the second quarter, outscoring AHC 14-6 in the period. VC grabbed seven steals in the stanza, forcing 10 Bulldog turnovers. With the Pirates ahead 27-22 with three minutes left, Ventura received consecutive scores from Dougan, Del Castillo and Brown to take a 33-22 lead at halftime.
Campbell had three 3-pointers and Melissa Ohmie scored two buckets during a decisive stretch midway through the third period to put VC ahead 52-31 at the 3:37 mark.
The starting five all contributed to put the game away in the final quarter. Brown assisted a Campbell triple to make it 59-38 with 8:47 remaining before hitting a free throw. Del Castillo turned an offensive rebound into two points, then Dougan assisted a lay-up by Green that put VC ahead 64-40 with seven minutes left to play. Ventura stretched the lead to 29 points, 73-44 with 3:25 remaining before settling in for the 76-50 victory.
Del Castillo had 13 points, six boards and five steals in the game and Green turned in 12 points and eight assists. Dougan scored 10 points and Brown pulled in a team-high six rebounds. Ohmie had a career day off the bench scoring eight points with four boards, shooting a perfect 3-3 from the floor and 2-2 at the foul line.
Before the game, the Pirates honored the 1996 and 1997 state champions. 15 of the 17 alumnae returned from as far away as France, Tennessee and Washington to attend the event, reuniting the program's first two state titles. They also became the first teams inducted into the VC Athletics Hall of Fame during the ceremony.
Ventura next plays at Cuesta College Wednesday Feb. 8 in San Luis Obispo. Tip-off against the Cougars is set for 7:00 pm following the Pirate men's game at 5:00 pm.
Members of the 1996 and 1997 VC women's basketball state champions after their induction into the VC Athletics Hall of Fame prior to Saturday's game against Allan Hancock College. (Photo by Felix Cortez)