It was a tale of two halves for the Pirates' men's basketball team Saturday night against Sequoias in the COS Wyndham Classic in Visalia. VC had a solid first 20 minutes, shooting nearly 40 percent from the floor in jumping out to a 36-27 halftime lead over the host Giants, before going cold in the second period, hitting on just 29 percent of their shot attempts. COS also heated up in the second, hitting on 59 percent of their shots in Ventura's 69-55 loss to Sequoias, ending VC's four-game winning streak. Tone Patton had 15 points and five rebounds to lead Ventura (7-5).
VC held the lead for the entirety of the first half, beginning with a 3-pointer by Dayveon Bates on the opening possession. Patton's long-range shot off Lamont Landers' assist made it 18-12 with 13 minutes left in the half, and landers had an old-fashioned 3-point play at he 9:06 mark to make it 21-16 for Ventura. Two minutes later Landers hit a pair of charity tosses to begin a 7-1 Pirate run, followed by a three by Thomas Dangerfield and two charity tosses by Patton. VC led 30-19 with 3:54 on the clock, and they scored at the buzzer on a Dangerfield lay-up to take a 36-27 edge into halftime.
The Pirates hit on nearly 40 percent of their field goal attempts in the first half, 11-28, and connected on four of 10 3-point shots. They were also 10-11 at the free throw line to gain the halftime edge.
Ventura cooled of fin the second half and the Giants heated up considerably. After Patton scored with a jumper to open the period, Sequoias went on a 9-0 run to close to within 38-36 with 13:05 still left in the game. The Pirates held steady for the next two minutes with scores from Landers and Keron Bailey, but COS managed to tie the score at 42 at the 9:44 mark. Sequoias took the lead with a 3-pointer with 8:19 on the clock, but the Pirates were able to keep up the game close. Dangerfield connected on a lay-up at the 6:27 mark to keep VC within five points, 53-48, but COS scored the next eight points to break the game open. The Pirates fell by a final margin of 69-55.
Landers came off the bench to score 12 points with five rebounds for the Pirates and Dangerfield netted 10 points. Timothy Turner finished with nine points and Bailey pulled in nine boards.
Ventura will complete the COS Wyndham Classic on Sunday Dec. 16 with a contest against Fresno City College at 12 noon. The Pirates close out their pre-Christmas schedule Thursday Dec. 20 at Los Angeles Valley College.