Stephane Brown of Ventura College and Lance Fay of Oxnard, two high school basketball standouts who got away from their respective neighborhood junior colleges, took turns standing out during crunch time in Saturday night’s Western State Conference North Division showdown before about 3,000 at Ventura.
Brown, a sophomore guard from Channel Islands High, hit an 18-foot fadeaway jump shot with three seconds left in overtime to give Ventura, the state’s top-ranked team, a 70-68 victory.
Brown, who was mobbed by Ventura fans on the court after his game-winner, scored five of his 21 points in overtime.
Fay, a freshman guard from nearby Buena, sent the game into overtime by rattling in a three-point shot with seven seconds left in regulation to tie the score, 60-60.
“I knew it was in the second it left my hand,” Brown said of his shot that gave the Pirates their sixth consecutive victory. “I just concentrated on following through as I was falling away.”
Fay (25 points) had hit a three-point shot from the left corner with 45 seconds left in overtime to tie the score, 68-68, setting the stage for Brown, who came off a pick by Michael King with 10 seconds left, took a pass from Joey Ramirez and shot the ball over defenders Chris Cole and Eddie Madec.
“The play was actually designed for (Stephane) to drive toward the basket,” Ventura Coach Philip Mathews said. “But it didn’t quite work out that way.”
Fay, who hit seven three-point shots, was frustrated by the loss but found it difficult to fault the way he and his teammates performed.
“Losing a game like that is certainly hard to take,” Fay said. “But we played hard and had our chances to win. We put forth a great effort. The crowd certainly got their money’s worth.”
Ventura (27-1, 3-0 in division play) took a 53-46 lead with 6 minutes 7 seconds left when Ramirez went coast to coast to score on a layup, but Oxnard countered with a 9-0 run to take a 55-53 lead with 3:29 remaining.
Ventura forward Calvin Curry (21 points), playing in his first game since straining ligaments in his knee against Santa Monica on Jan. 7, hit a shot to tie the score, 55-55, before Oxnard’s Art Wallace (12 points, seven rebounds, two blocked shots) tipped in a Stevie Amar miss with 2:24 left to put the Condors ahead by two.
Curry"s three-pointer with 2:07 remaining gave the Pirates a 58-57 lead and two free throws by Ramirez with 20 seconds left set the stage for Fay’s heroics.
Brandon Jessie added 15 points for Ventura. Tony Ziuraitis had 16 points for Oxnard, which had its five-game winning streak snapped.