The VC men's basketball team used a strong second half to turn an eight point halftime deficit into a 15-point victory Saturday at the Gregg Anderson Memorial Tournament at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster. The Pirates trailed Mira Costa 35-27 before outscoring the Spartans 46-23 in the second period for the 73-58 win. Lamont Landers had a team-high 14 points to lead the balanced effort in which six Pirates scored at least eight points. Dayveon Bates scored 13 while Timothy Turner had 11 points and six assists for VC (5-4), who put together back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Ventura took an early -2 advantage on scores by Tone Patton, Bates, Thomas Dangerfield and Turner. Mira Costa responded with a 12-3 run over the next five minutes to take an 18-11 advantage midway through the first half. Landers ended the skid with a 3-pointer, and after a Spartan free throw, Jelani Bell hit from range to pull VC to within 19-17. Mira Costa scored the next eight points, however, to push their lead to double figures with 5:02 remaining in the half. Dangerfield hit a triple to make it 30-25 at the 2:40 mark, but MCC stretched the margin back to 35-27 at halftime.
After a Pirate turnover on the first possession of the second half, the Spartans were fouled on a 3-point attempt, and calmly made all three free throws to make it 38-27. Keron Bailey turned a Turner assist into a three on the next possession, and the VC comeback was on. Bates hit one of two charity tosses, then followed with a deuce, and Patton hit for two more to make it a three point game. Bailey followed with a three and one of two free shots before Turner assisted a Bates bucket at the 11:58 point of the half to give VC a 45-44 lead.
Landers hit a trey off Turner's dime, and Jacob Berry converted for two to extend the Pirate advantage. The Spartans tied the game at 53 with 7:26 remaining, and Dangerfield hit from range off another Turner helper to give the Pirates the lead for good. Ahead 56-55 with 5:33 on the clock, Ventura broke out with a 16-3 run to end the game for the 72-58 victory.
Bailey had nine points and a team-high seven rebounds while Bates added six boards. Dangerfield and Bell each added eight points to the VC effort. Patton had six points and five rebounds.
The Pirates conclude the tournament with a contest against the host Marauders on Sunday Dec. 2 at 5:00 pm in Lancaster.