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Herman’s 36 Put Ventura in Semifinals

TIMES STAFF WRITER

College of the Siskiyous, meet Cori Herman.

The Screamin’ Eagles probably wish they never came across Herman, the sharpshooting guard on the Ventura College women’s basketball team. But they did, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

Herman scored a career-high 36 points to lead the Pirates to a 78-57 victory in the quarterfinals of the state tournament Thursday at Ventura. The 5-foot-7 sophomore from Ventura High scorched Siskiyous (22-9) with 21 points in the first half and 15 in the second to help the Pirates (27-4) advance to a semifinal game at 8 tonight against defending state champion.

Lassen (33-1) defeated Harbor, 96-91, in the quarterfinals.

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“That was a good time to get a career high,” Ventura Coach Ned Mircetic said of Herman.

Ventura, seeded No. 2 among the four teams that qualified from the Southern California regionals for the eight-team state tournament, had to rally from an early 11-point deficit to win.

The Eagles jumped to a 19-8 lead with 11 minutes 6 seconds to play in the first half, but Ventura roared back on two three-point baskets by Herman, a three-pointer by Jennifer Wells and two free throws by Nicole Ellis to tie the score at 19 less than four minutes later.

“We came out and showed what we can do for about five minutes,” Siskiyous Coach Tom Powers said. “But we kind of let it slip away.”

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After catching up, the Pirates pulled away gradually and had a 41-30 lead at the half. They continued to increase the cushion and led by as much as 74-45 with 5:15 to play.

“When they came out and ran early, they were real good,” Mircetic said of the Eagles. “We had to relax more on offense. We came out so tense, we couldn’t do anything.”

Herman and Ellis, a 6-foot center from Buena High, helped calm the team’s nerves.

The pair took control of the offense for Ventura. Herman had two of her game-high six three-pointers in the second half, and Ellis finished with 22 points. She also had four blocked shots and eight rebounds.

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After the first few minutes, Siskiyous was never able to get its offense rolling. Part of the problems were caused by center Christy Trotter’s early foul trouble. Trotter, who averaged 15.0 points, scored 12 points and eventually fouled out.


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