The VC men's basketball dug a big hole for themselves Saturday afternoon against Fresno City College, and nearly climbed out on the final day of the Wyndham/Mannon Classic at College of the Sequoias in Visalia. VC trailed 62-22 after a difficult first half before outscoring the Rams 52-21 in the final 20 minutes in the 83-74 loss. Dayshone Henry recorded a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds while Timothy Turner had 17 points for Ventura (8-6). Tone Patton netted nine points with 11 boards.
It was a most difficult first 20 minutes for the Pirates against the state's No. 13-ranked team. Fresno City raced out to an early 4-0 lead before Henry drained a three from Thomas Dangerfield's assist. FCC made two more buckets, and Turner scored on a drive to make it 8-5 at the 16:14 mark of the first half. The Rams then scored seven straight, and later went on a 32-2 run to put Ventura into a deep hole. Kingston Williams hit from range late, and Donavan Williams scored a lay-up as VC went to intermission with the big deficit.
The Pirates kept up the fight, however, showing some grit and determination in the second half. After the teams exchanged free throws, Henry's three at the 18:15 mark to begin an 11-0 Ventura run. Dangerfield also hit from beyond the arc, and Henry followed with a lay-up. Dayveon Bates cashed in Dangerfield's dime for three more and the pirates trimmed the deficit to 64-35 with 15:16 remaining. Later in the half, Ventura had a 9-0 run starting with another inside score by Henry and jumper by Patton. Turner hit a three, then followed with a pair of charity tosses pulling the Pirates within 19 points, 65-46, with 11:41 on the clock. Patton converted a 3-point play to make it a 70-56 game and Dangerfield hit a triple to cut the deficit to 12 points, 78-64, with 5:22 remaining. Turner completed a 3-point play in the final minute to set the final 83-74 margin.
Shulton Tobin netted nine points in the game while Dangerfield totaled six points with three assists. Turner also dropped three dimes in the contest.
Ventura returns home after the holidays, hosting LA Valley on Friday Jan. 3 and Canyons on Saturday Jan. 4. The Pirates and Monarchs will battle at 5:00 pm before the Cougars come to the Athletic Event Center for a 4:00 pm tip-off.