The Pirates' men's basketball team traveled to Santa Maria Saturday to take on state No. 9 Allan Hancock and came away with a big 75-71 victory over the Bulldogs. Shulton Tobin was 6-7 from beyond the 3-point line for a game-high 22 points while Dayshone Henry scored 16 points with eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Tone Patton netted 13 points with seven boards and Timothy Turner was the four player in double figures for VC (11-7, 2-0) with 11 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Things were tight for the first 10-plus minutes of the game with two ties and seven lead changes. VC opened up a four-point lead at the 12:41 mark on a lay-up by Turner, but the Bulldogs came back with a 7-0 run to go ahead 19-16 two minutes later. Tobin tied the score with a triple on the next possession, then followed an AHC free throw with another make from range for a 22-20 Pirate edge with 8:08 on the clock. A third straight Tobin three, a lay-up by Henry, and three free throws by Tobin completed an 11-0 VC run for a 30-20 advantage with 5:53 left in the first half. Hancock, however would not go quietly as they responded with a 12-2 streak to tie the game at 32-32 at the 2:22 mark. The Pirates then went on an 8-2 run, with a bucket by Donavan Williams, two charity shots from Kingston Williams, and scores from Henry and Darius Butler, before the Bulldogs hit a three at the buzzer for a 40-37 VC margin at the half.
The teams were back trading scores to begin the second half with Patton scoring eight of VC's first 11 points of the period. Tobin had another trey for the other points and VC led 51-44 five minutes in. The Pirates slowly built their lead, and Turner connected on a lay-up to give Ventura a 60-50 lead with 11:15 remaining in the game. The Bulldogs kept the pressure on, whittling the lead down to three, 66-63, with 3:54 on the clock. Turner turned the momentum with a three, and Patton scored a lay-up following an AHC free throw to stretch the advantage back to 71-64. Hancock closed to within two points, 73-71, in the final minute, but Ventura was able to make just enough free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
Donavan had seven points off the bench, and Tobin added five rebounds and four steals to his point total.
The Pirates continue Western State Conference North Division play on Wednesday Jan. 15, hosting LA Pierce at 7:00 pm.