The Pirates' women's basketball team used a strong third quarter run to defeat Compton College 63-42 Friday night in VC's season-opener. Playing in the first round of the Wild West Shootout at West Los Angeles College in Culver City, Ventura (1-0) outscored the Tartars 25-11 to pull away following halftime. Yasmine Ahllamara came off the bench to lead the PIrates with 18 points and five rebounds. Kimora Pooler recorded eight points and a team-high eight boards while Talia Taufaasau has nine points, five rebounds and six assists.
The Pirates struggled out of the gate, falling behind 5-0in the opening two minutes of the game. Madison Kast got Ventura on the board with a 3-pointer from LaDaesha Merriweather's assist at the 6:45 mark of the opening quarter. She followed that up with another triple a minute later to give Ventura its first lead of the season. Two free throws from Taufaasau with five seconds on the clock gave the Pirates a 10-8 edge at the quarter break.
Merriweather got going early in the second stanza with a pair of inside buckets, but consecutive treys by the Tartars put Ventura down, 16-14. Compton's lead expanded to four points before an Ahllamara three and two inside buckets by Pooler put VC ahead for good. Victoria Maciel followed up a Taufaasau steal with three points, then assisted a jumper by Pooler and Ventura led 27-20 at the half.
The Pirates finally got untracked in the third quarter. Merriweather scored inside before Taufaasau hit for a lay-up and followed with an old-fashioned 3-point play. Merriweather scored another deuce and Alaina Garcia hit a 15-footer as Ventura built a 38-23 lead midway through the period. Ahllamara then followed with a personal 12-2 run, including three made 3-pointers. Alyssandra Lacanilao closed the period with a strong drive and lay-up to make it 52-31 for the Pirates at the end of three quarters.
Midway through the final quarter, Ahllamara made her fifth 3-pointer of the game and Lacanilao sliced through the Tartars' defense for a lay-up to give the PIrates their biggest lead of the game, 59-33. Alanna Jackson came in late to net a pair of scores and the PIrates won going away, 63-42.
The win was just the second opening-day victory for VC in the past six years. The Pirates, ranked No. 2 in Southern California in the pre-season coaches' poll, will next take on No. 6 East Los Angeles in the tournament semifinals. The game in Culver City will be Saturday nov. 9 with a 5:00 pm scheduled tip.