If the Pirates' women's basketball team has shown one thing over the past few weeks, it is that they can play with the best teams in the state. They have also shown that too many mistakes can lead to losses. VC committed 13 first half turnovers and shot 26 percent (6-23) in the opening 20 minutes as they fell behind Los Angeles Trade Tech 34-20 at intermission in the championship game of the LAVC-Buddy's All-Star Classic Sunday, eventually falling to the Beavers 66-50. Talia Taufaasau earned all-tournament honors leading VC (9-4) with 14 points and five assists.
The Pirates' troubles began early in the game in Valley Glen. After Victoria Maciel assisted an Emma Larson 3-pointer for a 3-2 VC lead at the 8:09 mark of the first quarter, Ventura went nearly five minutes without a score, as Trade Tech netted 10 straight points. Taufaasau hit one of two free throws to end the Pirate skid, and Cece Quintino's lay-up a minute later brought VC to within 12-6. LATT led 17-8 at the end of the quarter. The Pirates hit just three of 11 field goals in the period with seven turnovers to promote the 9-point deficit.
The Beavers opened the second quarter with a three, and the Pirate deficit hovered around double-figures throughout the stanza. Quintino hit a pair of charity tosses at the 8:13 mark for a 20-12 score before Ventura came up empty on the next five trips down the floor. Trade Tech finally scored two minutes later, and they stretched their lead to 24-12 before Quintino ended another Pirate scoring drought with two more free throws. Taufaasau and Maciel each hit jumpers to keep the Pirates to within 11 points, by LATT hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 34-20 halftime advantage.
The Pirates seemed to get untracked early in the third quarter. Taufaasau and Quintino each scored on drives to the basket on VC's first two possessions, and Larson hit from range at the 6:16 mark of the period to pull Ventura to within 38-29. The teams traded scores from that point, including a bucket by Colleen Clow off a Quintino dime, and a pair of 3-pointers from Maciel. Quintino's lay-up with 15 seconds left brought Ventura to within 50-43 entering the final period.
The Pirates' momentum quickly ended, however, as the Beavers went on an 11-1 run to begin the fourth quarter. Ventura's first field goal of the period came with 3:11 left to play, a lay-up by Quintino from an assist by Taufaasau, making the score 61-46 for Trade Tech. The Beavers netted the next five points before LaDaesha Merriweather's inside score set the final 66-50 margin.
Quintino added 12 points and six rebounds to the Pirate attack while and Maciel also contributed 12 points. Merriweather pulled in seven rebounds while Larson had five boards and three steals.
The Pirates get a week off to study for finals before returning to the court on Wednesday Dec. 19 at the Glendale College Tournament. VC faces Canyons at 3:00 pm in the opening round in Glendale.