The Pirates' men's basketball team scored the final nine points of the first half to take their first lead of the game and rode the momentum throughout the second stanza in their 67-57 victory over Pasadena on day two of the We Play Hard Tip-Off Tournament sponsored by the James Ennis Foundation. Tone Patton led the way with 18 points and three assists while Jacob Berry and Lamont Landers each netted 12 in the victory for VC (1-1).
The Pirates started the game in a 14-0 hole as they remained scoreless for the first five minutes of the game. Timothy Turner finally got Ventura on the board with an old-fashioned 3-point play at the 15:07 mark to make it 14-3 for PCC. landers, Patton and Berry all hit treys over the next five minutes, and a jumper by Tito Mendez at the 10:32 mark pulled the Pirates to within five, 21-16.
After Pasadena responded with a deuce and Keron Bailey converted an offensive rebound, the score remained 23-18 for nearly five minutes of game time. The Lancers ended the drought with consecutive threes to extend their lead back to 11, 29-18, with 5:30 on the clock. Turner then started a 15-2 Ventura run to end the half with a pair of free throws. Patton hit consecutive buckets ahead of two Pasadena charity tosses to set up the final minute of the half. Mendez assisted a Berry triple with 1:08 remaining, then Berry hit another off a Patton helper. Mendez closed the half with a steal and pull-up three at the buzzer to give the Pirates their first lead of the game, 33-31, heading into the locker room.
Ventura relinquished the lead but briefly in the second half. With PCC ahead 39-38, Dayveon Bates scored on a lay-up with an assist by Berry, then he emphatically scored two more with a dunk for a 42-39 Pirate advantage with 16:15 left to play. Berry followed with another field goal from range and VC maintained at least a four point cushion the rest of the way. VC rode the momentum out to the 67-57 victory.
Bates had nine points and six rebounds for the Pirates while Bailey led the Windex crew with nine boards. Mendez dropped five dimes in the game.
Ventura completes the tournament on Saturday Nov. 3 with a game against Antelope Valley. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm at the Athletic Event Center.