The Pirates' women's basketball team dropped a 75-60 decision to Riverside City College Friday in the third place game of the Glendale College Holiday Tournament. Victoria Maciel earned All-Tournament honors with her 17-point performance and Cece Quintino led Ventura offensively with 20 points. Talia Taufaasau also netted 17 points and LaDaesha Merriweather pulled in 13 rebounds for VC (10-6).
The Pirates were off from the start, misfiring on their first six shot attempts as they fell behind 8-0 in the first five minutes of the game. Quintino netted VC's first score at the 4:55 mark, and Maciel followed with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 8-5. The teams briefly traded buckets until the Tigers built an 18-11 edge late in the period. Maciel's deuce made it 18-13 at the quarter break.
RCC expanded the lead to nine points early in the second half, and pushed the advantage to double figures, 30-17, at the 5:55 mark of the period. Ventura then went on a 17-5 run over the next 3:51 of game time to cut into the deficit. Maciel began the run with a triple, followed by two free throws by Robin Prince. After a Tiger basket, Quintino scored two and Emma Larson hit a charity toss, and Maciel's lay-up made it 32-27 with 3:28 left in the half. RCC nailed a three, answered from range by Maciel, then Taufaasau also hit from behind the arc. Colleen Clow made one of two free throws at the 2:04 mark to make it 35-34 for the Tigers. Riverside got one more bucket before halftime and VC trailed at the break, 37-34.
Both teams struggled offensively in the third quarter. Ventura opened with two Taufaasau free shots and a Quintino 3-pointer to take a 41-37 lead, but the Tigers tied the game at 41 soon thereafter. RCC netted the next two buckets, and the teams traded scores through the end of the period, when Riverside led 51-45.
In the final period, the Pirates never were able to make a sustained run. Every score they had was quickly answered as the Tigers kept VC at arm's length. Ventura cut the lead to four points on scores by Clow, Taufaasau and Quintino, but the Tigers responded in kind, eventually building the lead back to double figures. Late Pirate efforts to get back into the game by sending the Tigers to the foul line proved fruitless, and Ventura fell 75-60.
The Pirates, who dropped consecutive games for the first time since 2016, and for only the fourth time since 2008, will have the Christmas holiday to regroup. They return to the court on Friday Dec. 28, hosting the VC-Optimist Club Holiday Tournament. Ventura plays Antelope Valley at 7:00 pm at the Athletic Event Center in the opening round.