The Ventura College men's basketball team returned from the Christmas holiday with a 72-66 victory at Riverside City College on Saturday. Jacob Alonzo had a solid fantasy night with 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals and John Williams netted 15 points with seven boards and three dimes. Terrell Handy-Johnson scored 10 points with five caroms for the Pirates (12-6).
The Pirates led wire-to-wire, with Williams hitting a 3-pointer on the first possession of the game. Isaac Ramirez followed, also from range, and Taylor Sturgeon hit a triple to make it 9-2 with 16:56 remaining in the first half. Williams had a tip-in and Alonzo hit for three to stretch the lead to 14-4. Terrell H-J hit a jumper at the 12:18 mark for a 13-point margin, and Williams followed with a deuce on the next possession. The score was stuck at 23-11 for a three-plus minute stretch of play before the teams traded buckets, including a lay-up by Isiah Reyes. Williams had another 3-pointer with 5:11 remaining in the half for a 28-13 advantage, and after an offensive flurry, the Pirates led at halftime, 38-27.
The Pirates continued their 3-point barrage, they had 10 in the game, with triples from Williams and Ramirez to start the second half. VC maintained their lead through most of the first 10 minutes of the period before the Tigers closed to within 52-47 at the 10:15 mark. Alonzo and Malcolm Ruff sandwiched a three and a two, respectively, around a RCC basket, and followed with a made lay-up to extend the lead back to 10 points, 59-49.
Late in the game, the Tigers closed to within 69-66,but Alonzo ended the RCC run with a long 3-pointer with :21 on the clock to seal the victory for the Pirates.
Reyes ended with nine points in the game and Sturgeon totaled eight for VC.
The Pirates will return home on Thursday Jan. 4 for their final non-conference game. They will host College of the Canyons at 7:00 pm at the Athletic Event Center.