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Ventura's WSC Titles Multiplied by Threes

Basketball: Pirates sink 11 three-pointers, eight in the first half, and clinch fifth North crown.


VENTURA — The threes turned into a five.

Sparked by 11 three-point baskets, Ventura College clinched its fifth consecutive Western State Conference North Division men's basketball title with a 90-73 victory over Moorpark on Wednesday night.

Ventura (27-2, 9-0 in division play), the top-ranked team in the state, connected for eight three-pointers in the first half. The Pirates scored their first 12 points on three-pointers.

It was the 13th victory in a row for the Pirates, who have lost only two division games since 1991-92, the first season the conference was split into divisions.

The Pirates end division play Saturday night at home against Hancock.

Ventura's superior depth and skills were too much for the Raiders (15-15, 6-3), who relied on cousins Tim and Wendell Nunnery for the bulk of their scoring. Tim finished with 24 points and Wendell had 18.

"We don't have too many weapons," said Del Parker, Moorpark coach. "We try to camouflage them."

The Pirates weren't misguided.

They turned a tight game into a rout-in-the-making midway through the first half before Moorpark reeled them in. The Pirates then launched another streak for a 55-40 halftime lead and weren't threatened seriously again.

The last surge before the half, a 12-2 run, was highlighted by Hakeem Ward's coast-to-coast basket that gave Ventura a 49-38 advantage. Ward also electrified the crowd with a massive alley-oop dunk earlier that put the Pirates ahead, 29-23, and ignited a 13-2 burst.

"We went inside in the second half," said Virgil Watson, Ventura coach. "We have some excellent post guys who are going to wear down the opponents. I'm sure it's overwhelming for those guys sometimes."

The Pirates, using two well-oiled five-man units that rotate in and out of games every few minutes, are nearly impossible to stop.

Eleven Ventura players scored, led by Ward's 17 points and Shannon Taylor's 16.

Ventura led by as many as 22 points, 85-63, in the second half.

The Pirates defeated Moorpark, 92-79, in their first division game this season on Jan. 27 at Moorpark but Parker said there was a reason for the tighter score.

"They [Pirates] weren't able to shoot as well outside [in that game]," he said.

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