For one day, at least, the Pirates' women's basketball team found their groove. VC had its best offensive day in over three seasons posting a 100-39 victory over Orange Coast in the consolation semifinals of the Coast Christmas Classic in Costa Mesa. The Pirates (9-5) hit 18 3-pointers, the program's second-best total ever, in hitting the century mark for the 47th time in team history. Celeste Salazar led five players in double-figures with 18 points on six made threes.
VC got off to a fast start once again as Salazar converted a Davina Del Castillo assist for a 3-pointer on the opening possession of the game. Two minutes later Jasmyne Martin scored on a drive and the Pirates of the North (VC) led the Pirates of the South (OCC) 5-0. Leading 7-4, Ventura hits four straight triples, two by Nikki Puga, one by Salazar, and one by Alaina Garcia, to take a 19-6 advantage. A Del Castillo lay-up was followed by another shot from range by Salazar, and another trey from Garcia as VC led OCC 30-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Martin got into the 3-point party to start the second period, and followed that up with a driving lay-up to make the score 35-9. Orange Coast closed to within 37-19 before Garcia and Salazar nailed another two treys to keep the Pirate Express on course. VC closed the quarter strongly with a lay-up from Avery Brunk and a pair of buckets by Kylie Vint. Ventura led at halftime 53-25.
In the third quarter, the Pirates of the North continued the onslaught. Martin scored twice, followed by a Del Castillo bucket and another field goal from Vint. Salazar, Garcia and Elissa Root combined for four more 3-pointers, and Talitha Draper and Vint scored in the paint to close the period. VC led at the quarter break, 78-31.
The only question remaining in the final 10 minutes was if VC could reach the century mark, and if they could set a new 3-point record. Brunk hit a pair of triples in the period, and Martin also splashed another shot from range to give the Pirates 18 threes, one off the program record. With just over a minute remaining, Larryssa Russell hit a mid-range jumper from the left baseline to give Ventura 100 points, it's first time in triple-digits since March 5, 2014, also against OCC. In the end, Ventura posted the 100-39 victory.
The 18 made 3-pointers for Ventura is the second-most in a game in program history, behind only the Pirates' 19 made threes against Oxnard in February of 2011. Ventura made 15 3-pointers twice in 2014, against Moorpark and LA Pierce, and versus Cuesta in 2009.
Salazar added nine assists and a pair of steals to her 18 points, and Garcia finished with 17 points. Martin came in with 14 points while Vint had 13 points with eight rebounds and two blocked shots. Brunk scored 10 points in the game. Del Castillo netted eight points with eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals and Puga scored eight points and dropped six dimes. Draper had seven points and six boards. Melissa Ohmie recorded five rebounds.
Ventura shot 58 percent from the floor (40-69), and hit half of their 3-point attempts (18-36). They also had 28 assists in the game, and outrebounded Orange Coast 42-17.
VC advances to Wednesday's consolation final against El Camino, a rematch of VC's season opening loss. Tip-off is slated for 1:00 pm in Costa Mesa.