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Poor Play Costs Ventura Twice

February 02, 1989|RALPH NICHOLS | Times Staff Writer

Phil Mathews knew it was coming. He warned his Ventura College basketball team to shape up or . . .

Fall flat on its face. And the Pirates did, losing not once, but twice last week--their first Western State Conference defeats of the season.

But Mathews is hardly gloating over the accuracy of his prediction.

"We have not been playing well and it caught up with us," Mathews said.

With 5 players averaging in double figures, scoring has not been a problem. Reggie Betton leads the way with a 15.3-point average, followed by Leo Parker (14.5) and Rick Fluckey (10.9).

Mathews said the team needs to improve its defense and rebounding if it's going to successfully defend its WSC championship. "We're just not going after the ball on the boards," he said.

Ventura also needs to cut down on its fouls, which Mathews attributes to the team's running, driving style. "We're a very aggressive team and we commit fouls," Mathews said.

The losses to Santa Monica and Glendale dropped Ventura into a tie for first place with Oxnard in the Northern Division of the WSC. Santa Monica (8-0) was in first in the Southern Division heading into this week. The Pirates (21-5, 6-2) and Condors are also getting competition from Moorpark, in third place in the Northern Division.

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