In a back-and-forth battle, the Pirates' men's basketball team outlasted Santa Monica for a 74-71 victory in the championship game of the Gregg Anderson Memorial Tournament at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster on Sunday. Tone Patton hit a lay-up and two free throws in the final 12 seconds to send the Pirates (7-4) to the win. Dayshone Henry had 15 points and eight rebounds to collect tournament MVP honors and Patton also finished with 15 points and six boards. Thomas Dangerfield, Timothy Turner and Shulton Tobin were named all-tournament.
It was a slow start for Ventura as Santa Monica jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first 90 seconds of play. The Pirates got things turned around quickly after a timeout, and trailed 8-7 after Donavan Williams' 3-pointer at the 16:34 mark. Shortly thereafter, however, the Corsairs took control of the game with a 9-0 run, taking a 19-9 lead with 13:05 on the clock. The Pirates quickly responded beginning with a Henry dunk from a Tobin assist. Turner answered a Corsair bucket with back-to-back 3-pointers, then took a defensive rebound coast to coast for two and a 21-19 deficit with 11:36 on the clock. Four minutes later Henry tied the score at 27 with another rim rattler.
After the teams exchanged buckets, the Pirates took control late in the half with an 8-0 run. Henry made a free throw with 2:36 remaining to give VC a 35-34 lead, and Tobin assisted a 3-point play by Patton. Henry and Tobin made consecutive lay-ups, and Patton answered an SMC score with another bucket for a 44-36 halftime advantage.
Ventura extended their lead to 50-38 in the first 2:33 on the second half. Tobin made two free shots and Donavan answered a Corsair score with his own lay-up. Henry had another dunk to augment the advantage to 12 points with 17:27 remaining in the game.
The Pirates then went into a five minute scoring drought during which the Corsairs closed the gap. Santa Monica scored 10 straight points before Patton's lay-up ended the skid, and SMC followed with nine more points for a 57-52 margin with 9:48 left. Once again, the Pirates had a quick answer with a 6-0 run over the next two-plus minutes. Patton hit two more free throws, and Donavan and Dangerfield made lay-ups on consecutive possessions for a 58-57 lead.
Over the next four minutes there were three lead changes and three ties with Turner connecting on a pair of charity tosses to knot the game at 66-66 at the 3:15 mark. Henry assisted a Dangerfield lay-up with 1:18 on the clock for a 68-66 Pirate lead, and Turner made a lay-up to stretch the lead to three, 70-67, with 42 seconds remaining. The Corsairs took the lead on a 4-point play with 31 seconds left before Patton cashed in a Bates dime with 12 seconds left to put VC ahead for good. SMC missed a lay-up on the ensuing possession and Patton grabbed the defensive rebound, getting an immediate foul. He sank both free throws with two seconds remaining to seal the 74-71 Pirate victory.
Turner had 14 points and six rebounds in the win and Donavan totaled 10 points. Bates pulled in eight rebounds for VC.
Ventura next travel to Citrus College on Friday Dec. 13. THe Pirates tip off with the Owls in Glendora at 3:00 pm.