In their first game of the new year, the Pirates' women's basketball team pulled away from West Hills-Lemoore on the road Friday evening, 56-34. The VC defense, ranked No. 2 in the state, held the Golden Eagles 13 points below their season average in the victory. Talia Taufaasau led Ventura (14-3) with 16 points, six assists four rebounds and two blocked shots. Cece Quintino had 15 points with six dimes and five boards. Victoria Maciel totaled 10 points in the VC win,
The Pirate defense was on point from the beginning. VC allowed just one field goal in the first quarter, but their offense struggled to find its groove. Ventura led 10-5 at the end of the first quarter, and expanded the lead to 17-7 five midway through the second on a fast break lay-up by Kimora Pooler off a pass from Taufaasau. The Eagles responded with a 3-pointer and closed back to within 22-16 at halftime.
Ventura expanded their advantage early in the third with a bucket by Maciel, but West Hills stayed around, closing to within 26-23 midway through the period. The Pirates began to pull away at that point with a driving bucket by Quintino and back-to-back three's by Taufaasau. VC augmented the margin to 39-24 at the quarter break.
Ventura continued to pull away in the final 10 minutes of the game, outscoring the Eagles 17-9 over that span for the 56-34 win.
Yasmine Ahllamara totaled six points in the game while Alyssandra Lacanilao netted five. LaDaesha Merriweather owned the glass with 13 rebounds with three steals while Pooler pulled in five caroms with two blocked shots and a pair of thefts.
The Pirates will next host Los Angeles Trade Tech on Saturday Jan. 11. Tip-off with the Beavers is scheduled for 6:00 pm at the Athletic Event Center.