It was something different but more of the same for the VC men's basketball team Friday as they rolled into the semifinals of the Gregg Anderson Memorial Tournament at Antelope Valley with a 104-81 victory over Los Angeles Harbor. The different was Ventura's leading scorer, John Williams with 22 points against the Seahawks, leading the same balanced attack with seven players with seven points or more. Also the same was the win, the Pirates' seventh in a row and ninth in the last 10 games.
The game was tied 10-10 four minutes into the contest when Terrell Handy-Johnson and Isiah Reyes made back-to-back lay-ups to put the Pirates (9-2) ahead for good. Ventura went ahead by six, 18-12 on Williams' jumper at the 13:02 mark, and extended it to seven on a Jacob Alonzo three-ball on the next possession. Stephen Ntui made a lay-up to make it 25-17 before Harbor scored seven straight points to close to within a single point with 10:34 on the clock.
Malcolm Ruff ended the Seahawks' run with a charity toss, and followed that up with a made field goal. Ntui then connected from range and Lamont Landers converted a pair of free throws and the Pirates led 33-24 at the 8:09 mark. A steal by Alonzo and a lay-up from Rafael Johnson augmented the lead to double figures, 37-27, and Williams connected from behind the arc to make it 42-31 with 3:49 remaining in the half. LAHC made another run to close to within 45-42, but it was turned back by the Pirates as they took a 50-45 advantage into halftime.
VC outscored Harbor 7-2 in the first 80 seconds of the second half on a deuce and a trey by Alonzo sandwiched around a Reyes field goal. Alonzo then followed a Seahawk score with another triple and Darrell Handy-Johnson scored on consecutive trips down the floor to make it 64-51 with 16:46 remaining in the game. VC went through a period of two scores for every one for Harbor, and Isaac Ramirez extended the lead past 20 points, 78-57, with an old-fashioned 3-point play with 13:02 on the clock.
Ventura stayed in control for the rest of the game, with Harbor never getting closer than 14 points. The Pirates biggest lead of the night came after a technical foul on the Seahawks when Lamont Landers hit three of four free throws for a 100-73 advantage with 4:26 remaining.
Williams finished with 22 points on a near-perfect 9-10 shooting performance from the floor and 4-4 at the foul line. Alonzo had 13 points, six assists and five rebounds and Landers had 13 points, including a 7-8 performance at the charity stripe. Terrell H-J totaled 10 points while Reyes chipped in eight. Ramirez had seven points with four boards and Ntui also contributed seven.
Ventura moves to the tournament semifinals on Saturday Dec. 2. They will take on No. 1-ranked San Bernardino Valley at 5:00 pm in Lancaster.