The VC men's basketball team's comeback bid fell short Friday night as the Pirates dropped a 76-73 decision to Palomar on day two of the We Play Hard Tournament at the Athletic Event Center. Dayveon Bates netted 23 points with five rebounds to lead VC (1-1) while Thomas Dangerfield scored 14 points. The Pirates trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half before cutting the deficit to one point in the final two minutes of play.
The Pirates fell behind early, trailing the Comets 11-4 at the 16:22 mark of the first half. Back-to-back three's by Timothy Turner and Dangerfield seemed the get Ventura going as they took their first lead at 17-16 on a Davion Washington dunk with 10:33 on the clock. Palomar came back. however, scoring the next four points to retake the lead. Donavan Williams had a steal and a triple to knot the score at 26 with 7:22 remaining in the half, but Palomar quickly answered with their own trey. Ventura pulled to within six points, 38-32, on Bates' offensive rebound and putback in the final minute of the half, but missed defensive rebounds allowed the Comets to make the final shot of the period, a three from the right corner, to put the Comets ahead 41-32 at the break.
Ventura continued to battle in the second half, but seemed to make little headway against the Comets. The deficit was cut to six points, 43-37, on Dangerfield's three, but Palomar once again had an answer, stretching their advantage to 54-41 at the 16:12 mark. Turner connected on a drive soon thereafter, beginning an 11-2 run for the Pirates to close to within 56-54 less than five minutes later. Palomar turned the orange and black back once again, however, reestablishing a 10-point edge, 69-59, with 6:45 on the clock. Turner hit a triple off Shulton Tobin's dime to begin Ventura's final push, and Henry's made jumper made it 72-66 with 4:14 remaining. Bates had a strong drive and lay-up pulling the Pirates to within 74-73 at the 1:50 mark, but they could get no closer. Ventura had a possession trailing by one point, then had another while trailing by three, but they could not connect on the shot to pull the teams even. Palomar turned back the Pirates in the 76-73 result.
Dayshone Henry scored 12 points with seven rebounds and Turner had 10 points with four assists.
VC concludes play in the We Play Hard Tournament on Saturday Nov. 2 against Antelope Valley. Tip-off will be at 2:00 pm in the AEC.