VC freshman Alaina Garcia made seven 3-pointers en route to a career 23 points as the VC women's basketball team defeated Oxnard 69-32 Wednesday night. Davina Del Castillo had 11 points and nine rebounds while Elissa Root netted 10 points with four assists. With the victory, the Pirates (22-7, 8-1) clinch at least a share of their 28th straight Western State Conference North Division championship, otherwise known as a 28-Peat.
It was not easy going early on for Ventura, as Oxnard gave up everything they had. The Condors shot 8-13 in the first quarter, including 3-3 from beyond the 3-point arc to take a 19-17 lead at the quarter break. The Pirates battled back in the second quarter behind Garcia's four three's. She netted 12 of the Pirates' 15 points in the period, Root had the other three, also via the long ball, and the Pirates pulled ahead 32-26 at intermission.
For the second time in three games, the Ventura defense defended a shutout in the third quarter. Melissa Ohmie got the Pirates started on offense with a 3-point play, and Del Castillo followed with a baseline drive. Talitha Draper scored inside and Garcia converted again from range as the Pirates opened up a 45-26 lead with 1:05 on the clock. Del Castillo scored on a putback to send Ventura to the final period ahead 47-26.
Root converted for two to begin the final stanza, and a Del Castillo deuce chased by a three and a two from Nikki Puga made it 57-26 halfway through the final period. Root hit two more buckets off the drive, Garcia hit a three, and Larryssa Russell hit from the left baseline as the Pirates posted the 69-32 victory.
The victory gives VC the program's 31st WSC title, overall, and its 28th straight crown.
Ventura will host Santa Barbara for the regular season finale at the Athletic Event Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00 pm on Saturday Feb. 17.