Lance Fay and Nick Houchin were seeking vengeance Friday night in the Ventura basketball tournament. And the Buena pair came away satisfied after gunning down Thousand Oaks, 82-59, for a semifinal win.
Houchin got the Bulldogs (6-3) going early on offense, with 14 of his 16 points coming in the first half. Fay provided the defensive spark in the second half as Buena broke open a tight contest. Fay, who had five steals to fuel the transition game, finished with a game-high 33 points, 22 in the second half.
Buena reached the tournament final for the eighth consecutive year. The Bulldogs, who won the championship in 1984, '88 and '89, will meet Channel League rival Santa Barbara in the final tonight at 8.
Houchin and Fay said they vividly remembered last year's 103-67 loss to Thousand Oaks in the tournament final.
"It's kind of like revenge," Houchin said. "They pounded us last year and it was a real good feeling to pound them tonight."
Added Fay: "I wanted revenge big time. They embarrassed us last year."
The first half was rugged, however, as Thousand Oaks (5-4) matched the Bulldogs nearly basket for basket. Houchin sparked Buena to a 19-15 lead after one quarter with a trio of three-point shots and added one more in the second quarter.
But Thousand Oaks senior guard Andrew Borg kept the Lancers close with 14 points in the first half, nine on three-point shots. A pump fake freed Borg for a 14-foot jump shot to pull the Lancers within 35-34 at intermission.
The Buena press and Fay, however, were too much for Thousand Oaks in the second half. Fay and Jeff Dunn opened the third quarter with three-point baskets to give the Bulldogs a seven-point cushion. And four Fay steals in the next four minutes allowed the senior guard to score nine points and make it a 52-39 game. The Lancers got no closer than nine the rest of the way.
In other games:
Santa Barbara 68, Ventura 67--Junior guard Teodor Russinov hit the front end of a one-and-one free-throw situation with three seconds left to lift the Dons.
Russinov led Santa Barbara with 22 points. Santa Barbara, which also received 20 points from guard Sean Simms, avenged a 73-64 loss to the Cougars in the final of the Nordhoff tournament Dec. 14.
Randy Martinez paced Ventura (8-2) with 19 points. The Cougars trailed by 15 points in the second quarter before coming back to tie the score with 38 seconds remaining on a basket by Martin Nunes.
Nordhoff 67, Camarillo 58--The Rangers used a 15-0 run in the second quarter to take a 29-11 lead in a consolation semifinal.
Tim Sebek scored 28 points to lead Nordhoff (5-5). The Rangers made nine of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter. Nacho Vega finished with 17 points and Mark Sebek added 14 for Nordhoff.
Jaime Jaquez scored 14 points to pace Camarillo (2-6), but the Scorpions were hurt by 29 fouls; Jimmy Harbour, Tony Bartolotto and David Stringer all fouled out.
Channel Islands 48, Lompoc 45--Dewauen Nunnery hit three three-point shots in the fourth quarter as the Raiders (5-3) overcame a six-point deficit in the final period to win a consolation semifinal. Nunnery had 12 points.