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Ventura in Control of League

January 18, 2002

It took the longest time for Katy O'Brien to score Thursday, but when she did, her points packed plenty of punch.

O'Brien was shut out for the first 30 minutes, then delivered the game's final three points in the last 90 seconds to give Ventura a 44-41 victory over visiting Santa Barbara in a key Channel League game.

Ventura, ranked No. 8 by The Times, seized control of the league race by improving to 17-2 overall, 4-0 in league. Santa Barbara, ranked 12th, dropped to 17-3, 3-2. The Dons had beaten Ventura earlier this season in the Buena tournament, 61-58, in overtime.

There was a chance this game was headed to overtime, too. Tied at 41-41, freshman Caitlin O'Neill rifled a pass through the defense to O'Brien, who put away a left-handed layup for a 43-41 lead. She added a free throw with 11 seconds left, making it the biggest three-point night of O'Brien's life.

"It wasn't by choice," said O'Brien, who is averaging 13 points but missed her first seven field-goal attempts--six of them from the three-point arc. "Some days, you have to adapt. Caitlin made a great pass. They were so worried about the three-point basket, they left the weakside block open. Luckily, I can make a layup."

Jenni Dooley led Ventura with 20 points, making four of her team's five three-point baskets. Holding a 25-19 lead at halftime, Ventura scored only two points in the third quarter and trailed, 32-27, less than a minute into the fourth. But Dooley--the only Ventura player to score in double figures--scored eight in a 10-3 run.

Placentia El Dorado 65, Anaheim Katella 49--El Dorado's Melissa Jacob scored 22 first-half points and finished with a career-high 36 points, tying a school record.

Playa del Rey St. Bernard 59, La Puente Bishop Amat 46--Shannon Clay scored 18 points for host St. Bernard (15-5, 3-1), which outscored 22nd-ranked Bishop Amat, 14-1, in overtime of the Del Rey League game. Erin Myrick scored 22 points for Bishop Amat (16-6, 2-2).

In girls' soccer:

Dana Point Dana Hills 2, San Clemente 1--Freshman Genelle Ives scored the game-winner in the 79th minute for Dana Hills (10-4-3, 2-1-1), which upset No. 9 San Clemente (12-2-2, 2-1-1) in the South Coast League game.

Los Alamitos 0, Anaheim Esperanza 0--Ashley De Lajandro made 12 saves to help visiting Los Alamitos tie fourth-ranked Esperanza.

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