Hancock College's annual Carney's Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser took place Saturday at Hancock's Joe White Memorial Gymnasium.
Once the first half of the basketball doubleheader began, Ventura College's women quickly went about showing why they are the 27-time (27!) defending Western State Conference North Division champions. The Pirates eased past the Bulldogs 70-48 to open the second half of conference play.
Ventura moved to 20-6, 6-0. Hancock, which saw its four-game winning streak end, is 12-10, 4-2.
"We've been playing really well lately, and I thought we were ready to give Ventura a test," said Hancock coach Cary Nerelli.
"But Ventura came out ready to play. They played nearly flawless basketball. It was typical Ventura. They're very well-coached."
The name of the seventh annual Hancock fundraising event was changed from Coaches vs. Cancer to Carney's Coaches vs. Cancer several years ago in honor of three-time cancer survivor Larry Carney, who is a former veteran Santa Maria High School head coach and Hancock women's assistant coach.
In one pre-game ceremony, each Hancock player, and every coach on the Hancock staff, presented a rose to someone in the stands in honor of a cancer survivor. Multiple times, a player gave a rose to an actual cancer survivor who was in the stands.
In another pre-game ceremony, Hancock College athletic director Kim Ensing presented a $3,500 check from the school to Jessa Brooks of the Marian Medical Center and John Malinowski of the Marian Medical Center's Mission Hope Cancer Center.
Malinowski said the check would be designated to help Marion Medical Center patients who are in need of support services. The school has said all proceeds from the basketball doubleheader will be designated to go to the Mission Hope Cancer Center.
Hancock did go ahead for a brief time after the first half of the basketball doubleheader tipped off. Hannah Walls hit a 3-pointer to put the Bulldogs up 3-2 and Karly Beyers scored to put Hancock back ahead at 5-4.
Davina Del Castillo scored inside to put the Pirates ahead for good, at 6-5. The Bulldogs hung tough the first quarter and trailed just 18-15 going into the second, but the Pirates gradually stretched what would be their halftime lead to 40-24.
Ventura's 5-foot-8 sophomore point guard, Jasmyne Martin, consistently broke down Hancock's defense in the first half with her ball-handling and scoring and Del Castillo, a 5-10 sophomore guard-forward, did the same in the second.
Martin scored 12 points in the first half and 13 in the second for a game-high 25. Del Castillo scored eight of her 15 points after intermission.
Nikki Puga came off the bench and gave the Pirates consistent scoring. She finished with 15 points.
Point guard Taylor Lee-Hammer was the only Bulldog who shot well. She finished with 15 points on five-for-11 shooting from the floor. Beyers, one of Hancock's consistently top scorers, shot four-for-12, but did finish with 13 points.
The Pirates simply didn't make many unforced errors, particularly in the first half. Ventura turned the ball over just nine times. They lost the ball just three times before intermission. Hancock had 18 turnovers, including 12 in the first half.
Grace Rosa, Hancock's 6-foot-2 sophomore post, has five double-doubles this season, but the Pirates effectively collapsed their defense inside on her whenever the Bulldogs got the ball to Rosa in the paint. Rosa finished with seven points and four rebounds.
Ventura rarely rushed things against Hancock's match-up zone and often scored deep into the shot clock. The Pirates shot 28-for-59 from the field. The Bulldogs were just 16-for-46.
The home team did shoot in some tough luck. Several Hancock shots went in-and-out.
Before the game, Hancock sophomore guard Calley Pruett presented a spectator with a rose in honor of the late Ryan Teixeira. Teixeira, who starred in football and baseball at Arroyo Grande High School, died in March of 2017 from a rare form of leukemia. He was 20 years old.
Hancock will play a WSC North game at 5 p.m. Wednesday night at Moorpark.
Hancock men 96, Ventura 94 (overtime)
In the second half of this basketball doubleheader at Hancock's Joe White Memorial Gym, the Bulldogs (18-8, 5-1) moved into a first-place tie with the Pirates (17-8, 5-1) with a pulsating overtime win in front of a large, amped up crowd.
The Bulldogs out-scored the Pirates 14-12 in overtime. Hancock sophomore point guard Shane Carney shot 11-for-17 from the field and was the leading scorer with 31 points.
Hancock made just five of its last eight free throws in the extra period, but Glenn Jordan scored the winning point when he made the second of his two foul shots with 11.1 seconds left.
Jacob Alonzo nailed a 3-point shot with five seconds left to bring the Pirates within 95-94. With 2.9 seconds left, Hancock's Devin Davis missed the first of his two foul shots, made the second and then Ventura's John Williams' 3-point try on a runner as time ran out didn't come close.
With the Bulldogs up 82-81 with 2.9 seconds left in regulation, Ventura's Isiah Reyes made the first of his two free throws but he was short, off the front rim, on his second. Reyes later fouled out.
With the shot clock winding down, Jordan made a big 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key to put the Bulldogs up 91-85 with 1:17 left.
The Pirates stayed in it by making good on three consecutive 3-pointers from that point. Williams made two, then Davis made the one that brought Ventura within 95-94.
Spirit Ricks had a big double-double for Hancock, with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Daivs scored 14 points and Jordan put in 12.
Reyes scored 29 points, and four Pirates scored in double figures. Alozno put in 27 points, Williams scored 19 and Malcolm Ruff had 10.
In a pre-game ceremony, A $2,500 check from Home Motors was presented to the Marian Medical Center.