Photo by Bruce Jacobsen
VENTURA - Deja Smith led the Marauder women's basketball team with 26 points and added six rebounds, four assists and four steals as it overcame a lackluster performance to defeat Orange Coast, 80-69, in the opening round of the 8th Annual Ventura College-Optimist Club Holiday Tournament.
The Marauders' prize: a date with Ventura which enters the game ranked No. 12 in the state. The Pirates already defeated AVC once this season with an easy 64-48 victory at the College of the Sequoias Tournament earlier in the year. Of the eight teams participating in the tournament, four are ranked in the state, No. 3 Mt. San Jacinto which will face No. 14 LA Valley which upset No. 8 Irvine Valley on the other side of the bracket.
"It took us two quarters to play with a sense of urgency tonight," AVC head coach Barry Green said. "We must value each offensive possession against them (Ventura) and defend to have a chance at upsetting them."
Shantanel Bivens and Fiona Ferry each contributed with double-doubles. Bivens finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds and Ferry had 10 points and 11 assists. Ferry was two rebounds away from her first ever triple-double as she finished with eight. Smith added four of the Marauders' eight 3-pointers.
AVC only led 36-34 at halftime but outscored Orange Coast 27-16 in the third to take control of the game.