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Ventura 91, Contra Costa 22

November 24, 2007

VC-Kiwanis Tournament of Champions, Semi-Finals

Box Score    See Photos


     Starting for injured teammate Jessi Selleh, Sara Nicholson made the most of her opportunity scoring 19 points to help lead Ventura to a 91-22 victory over Contra Costa in the semi-finals of the VC-Kiwanis Tournament of Champions.  Meanwhile, Michelle Santizo came off the bench to earn the Pirates' first double-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds.  VC hosts Mt. San Antonio in the finals Sunday at 4:00 pm.

     Unlike in the past few games, Ventura (5-1) opened the game up cold offensively.  The Pirates missed four of their first five shots in the first three minutes of the game, but the defense kept Contra Costa (1-5) off balance, allowing for the chill.  When Indira Kaljo hit the second bucket of the contest with 16:56 remaining in the opening period, the Comets were still scoreless, and would be for another six minutes.  In that time the Pirates built a 22-0 advantage en route to their 47-12 halftime lead.  Nicholson connected on three old-fashioned 3-point plays, tallying 15 points in the half on perfect shooting, 5-5 from the floor and 5-5 at the charity stripe.

     The Pirates opened the second half with another eight minutes of shut-out ball, using a 24-0 run to ice the game.  Jenelle Conklin led the early charge with five assists on five consecutive possessions to five different teammates.  Santizo also caught fire in the final period, nailing three 3-pointers and scoring all 11 of her points in the stanza.  Nicholson closed out the scoring with 1:11 on the clock, sealing the 91-22 victory.

     Nicholson and Kaljo each had a team-high 19 points while Santizo and Randi Hicks were also in double-figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.  Santizo's 12 boards led the 53-25 Pirate rebound advantage.  Julie Heurung contributed nine caroms while Kaljo pulled down six and Conklin totaled five.  Conklin dished out nine assists while Eja Wong handed out five dimes.  Nicholson led the team with five steals and Santizo had four thefts.

     Ventura, ranked fourth in the latest Southern California coaches poll, will battle second-ranked Mt. San Antonio, the two-time defending state champion, in the tournament finals.  Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 pm at the VC Athletic Event Center.