Ventura College Athletics

VC Women Elite Once Again

VC freshman Davina Del Castillo had a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds, helping lead the Pirates to a 65-50 win over LA Valley in the CCCAA SoCal Regional Finals Saturday at the Athletic Event Center. (photo by Felix Cortez)
VC freshman Davina Del Castillo had a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds, helping lead the Pirates to a 65-50 win over LA Valley in the CCCAA SoCal Regional Finals Saturday at the Athletic Event Center. (photo by Felix Cortez)

In front of a large crowd in the final home game of the season, the VC women's basketball team reached elite status for the 16th time in head coach Ned Mircetic's 27 seasons with a 65-50 victory over Los Angeles Valley College.  Katie Campbell scored a game-high 26 points, including a 30-footer to close the third quarter, to lead the Pirates (27-5), who also got a two-for one deal on double-doubles as Davina Del Castillo totaled 11 points and 13 rebounds and Kyleesha Green had 10 points with 10 boards. 

Rhiana Dougan scored 14 points for VC and Sienna Brown offset a cold shooting night with eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

Ventura trailed 5-0 before Campbell's jumper got them on the board with 8:10 left in the opening period. A Campbell lay-up followed by a Dougan drive and lay-up gave VC its first lead of the night, 6-5. The Monarchs answered to retake the lead before a Del Castillo lay-up gave the PIrates the lead for good with 5:43 on the clock. Green hit two free throws and Dougan scored a short jumper to open up a 12-7 advantage.  The Pirates led 19-13 at the end of the first quarter.

Playing for the fourth time this season, the teams' familiarity took a toll on the offenses in the second quarter.  VC and LAVC shot a combined 5-33, including 0-10 from behind the 3-point arc, and the teams scored 15 points total.  Ventura outscored the Monarchs 7-2 over the first five minutes of the period to open up a 26-15 margin. VC managed just a pair of free throws from Dougan in the last half of the quarter, but still led 28-19 at halftime.

LA Valley cut the Pirate lead to six points twice early on in the third quarter, and on each occasion, Dougan had the response for VC.  Her 3-pointer from the left wing gave Ventura a 35-26 lead with 6:09 on the clock, and LAVC never got that close the rest of the way.  The Monarchs came back to 36-25 at the 4:23 mark, but Del Castillo answered with a lay-up and Campbell followed with a triple.  The teams then traded scores until Campbell's buzzer-beater made it 50-37 at the end of the period.

Ventura maintained the double-digit advantage throughout the fourth quarter, and were never threatened down the stretch by the Monarchs, advancing to the state tournament with the 65-50 victory.

THe Pirates, the No. 3 seed from Southern California, will play North No. 2 San Francisco in the state quarterfinals on Friday March 10. Game time at Las Positas College in Livermore is scheduled for 7:00 pm, and the game will be carried live on www.cccaasports.org with a video link on VCweplayhard.com.