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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL VENTURA TOURNAMENT : Strong Defense Enables Ventura to Defeat Channel Islands, 72-66

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Ventura High was feeling a little defensive about holding only a two-point lead at halftime. So the Cougars used their defense to beat Channel Islands, 72-66, Thursday night in the first round of the Ventura boys’ basketball tournament.

Senior center Randy Martinez scored 10 of his 20 points in the third quarter and Ventura (8-1) used a tightly packed 2-1-2 zone to turn a 32-30 halftime advantage into a 55-40 lead.

Channel Islands (4-3) mounted a furious comeback in the fourth quarter to close to within 64-63 with 2 minutes 10 seconds left, but Martin Nunes beat the Raiders’ press for a lay-in and Martinez hit a spinning follow as the Cougars regained control. A pair of free throws each by Chinh Tran and Curt Vaughan clinched it for Ventura.

The Cougars will face Lompoc tonight in the second round at 8. Lompoc defeated Santa Barbara, 67-66, Thursday.

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Forward Noe Noyola and guard Dewauen Nunnery kept Channel Islands close with 21 and 16 points.

In other first-round games:

Buena 68, Camarillo 60--The Bulldogs (5-3) used a tough full-court press to overcome a sluggish start and knock off Camarillo (2-5). Guard Lance Fay gave the Buena transition game a spark, scoring 22 points. Andy Saint added 14 points.

Buena trailed, 18-10, after one quarter but Camarillo couldn’t handle the press and Buena came back to take a 32-20 halftime lead. Jimmy Harbour, a junior guard, led Camarillo with 22 points.

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Thousand Oaks 59, Nordhoff 52--Guard Andrew Borg, who led Thousand Oaks with 15 points, made four free throws in the final minute as the Lancers (5-3) came from behind to win.

Nordhoff (4-5) built a 12-point lead in the second quarter and led by six in the fourth period. Thousand Oaks rallied, however, behind the outside shooting of Borg and Peter Lauer. Lauer, a sophomore guard, had 11 points.

Trailing, 48-42, with 7:44 to play, Thousand Oaks held Nordhoff to just two free throws and a field goal the rest of the game.

Nacho Vega, a senior guard, led Nordhoff scorers with 25 points.

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