The Pirates' men's basketball team held a 12-point lead midway through the second half, but succumbed to a late rally by College of the Canyons, falling to the Cougars 82-80 in the third place game of the Irvine Valley Classic on Friday. Dayshone Henry netted a season-high 34 points with 10 rebounds to lead VC (3-3) while Timothy Turner and Dayveon Bates each netted 13 points with five assists. Darius Butler also scored 13 points in the game for Ventura.
It was a hard-fought contest from the beginning with Canyons gaining a little separation, 13-9, halfway through the opening period. Henry's lay-up began a 16-4 run for the Pirates, followed by a free throw by Turner. Bates' offensive rebound and putback gave Ventura a 14-13 lead with 8:08 remaining in the first half. Following a CoC bucket, Thomas Dangerfield hit a shot and Henry dunked home an offensive board. Shulton Tobin followed with a made lay-up and Bates' dunk spurred a Cougar timeout at the 6:03 mark. After another Canyons basket, Turner hit a three off a Bates dime to extend the advantage to 25-17 with 5:27 on the clock.
Canyons responded, however, with a 10-2 run over the next three minutes to even the score at 27-27. It was even the rest of the way with a Butler triple giving the Pirates a 37-36 edge at intermission.
The Cougars gained the upper hand early in the final period, posting leads of four and five points, only to see the Pirates come back. CoC scored on back-to-back lay-ups to go ahead 50-43 with 14:49 remaining before Ventura came alive, once again. Henry went on a personal seven-point run to tie the score, and Bates and Butler hit consecutive shots from range for a 55-52 advantage. A few minutes later, Henry also hit a triple, giving Ventura a 69-57 lead with 8:59 on the clock.
Unfortunately, the Cougars had another answer, as they clawed back over the next seven-plus minutes to tie the score at 78-78 with 1:18 remaining. After a Canyons score with 38 seconds left, Henry made two free throws to tie the game at 80, but CoC hit a bucket in the closing seconds for the 82-80 result.
Henry added four assists to his stat line while Davion Washington pulled in seven rebounds. The Pirates outrebounded the Cougars 51-33, but VC committed 17 turnovers to the Cougars' 11.
VC will return to the court on Friday Nov. 22 with a game at Los Angeles Valley College. tip-off is slated for 6:00 pm in Valley Glen.