The Pirates' men's basketball team had five players score in double figures, but the balance was not quite enough to defeat Long Beach City College Friday evening. The Pirates fell to the Vikings in a close one, 75-72, in the semifinals of the Irvine Valley Classic at Irvine Valley College. Timothy Turner and Thomas Dangerfield each had 15 points to lead the way for Ventura (2-3), who will take on the tournament hosts in the 3rd Place game on Saturday Nov. 17 at 3:00 pm.
Ventura held the upper hand early with Turner, Dangerfield and Tone Patton pushing VC to an early 6-3 advantage. Dangerfield hit a pair of charity tosses at the 15:33 mark to make it 10-5 for VC, and then nailed a three off of Jelani Bell's assist with 9:57 on the clock to make it a 7-point game, 19-12. The Vikings came back, however, going on a 10-1 run over the next three-plus minutes to take a 22-20 lead. Jacob Berry hit a triple at the 5:42 mark to put VC back ahead 24-22, but LBCC countered with back-to-back treys to spur a 10-2 run for a 32-26 lead. The Pirates trailed at halftime, 39-30.
Early in the second half, Dayveon Bates netted a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer to pull Ventura back to within four, 50-46, and Berry's shot from range with 10:45 remaining made it 55-52. TUrner's lay-up a minute later closed the gap to two, 56-54, before Long Beach moved the margin back to seven. Bates and Patton each hit consecutive charity tosses to pull VC back to within 68-66 at the 4:21 mark, and Turner's free throws with 2:12 on the clock finally evened the score at 70. LBCC reestablished their lead to three, 73-70, and TUrner's lay-up with 21 seconds on the clock closed it back to 73-72, but the Vikings hit just enough free throws down the stretch to take the game, 75-72.
Patton netted 14 points with eight rebounds and Berry also totaled 14 points. Bates recorded 10 points with nine boards in the game. Bell handed out four assists.
Ventura moves into the tournament's 3rd place game Saturday Nov. 17. They will take on Irvine Valley at 3:00 pm.