VC sophomore Thomas Dangerfield scored 19 points to lead the Pirates past Antelope Valley 62-55 in the semifinals of the Gregg Anderson Memorial Tournament Saturday in Lancaster. Dayveon Bates netted 14 points and Dayshone Henry had a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. Ventura (6-4) will play Santa Monica in the tournament championship Sunday Dec. 8 at 5:00 pm.
It took nearly three minutes for the Pirates to score their first bucket, but when Donavan Williams made a lay-up with 17:11 remaining in the first half, VC led 2-0. Bates followed with a putback, and then hit a pair of 3-pointers as Ventura went ahead 10-0 at the 14:04 mark. After The Marauders finally got on the board on the next possession, Dangerfield answered with a deuce to maintain the double-digit lead. Dangerfield then cashed in a Henry assist for three to make it a 14-point game, 19-5, with 11:41 on the clock. The Pirate advantage remained around the double-figure mark until AVC went on an 11-0 run late in the half, tying the score at 24-24 with 1:52 remaining. Bates stopped the skid with a triple and a deuce, the latter off of Donavan's steal and VC led 29-24 at halftime.
The Pirates began the second half with an 11-2 run, beginning with Dangerfield's 3-pointer and an old-fashioned 3-point play on Shulton Tobin's dunk. Dangerfield answered an AVC score with another three and Timothy Turner made two free throws to open up a 40-26 lead for VC with 16:18 remaining in the game. Henry's lay-up at the 11:58 mark maintained the 14-point advantage before Antelope Valley closed to within 10 midway through the half. A Marauder run made it a 4-point game, 47-43, with 7:28 on the clock, and an AVC 3-pointer put the Pirates behind 50-49 at the 4:49 mark. But VC did not waiver, however, answering with an 8-0 run, beginning with a Henry score on the next possession. Dangerfield followed with a pair of charity tosses and Turner scored a lay-up with 1:45 remaining. Henry's inside bucket made it 57-50 for VC in the final minute and Turner hit four straight free throws in the final 15 seconds to seal the victory.
The Pirates advance to the tournament finals on Sunday Dec. 8. They will tip off against Santa Monica at 5:00 pm in Lancaster.