As close as the game was, it was Moorpark College’s ability to shoot from long range that was the key.
The Raiders made 10 of 21 three-point shots, including seven of 12 in the second half, to defeat Harbor, 84-80, in the first round of the Ventura College/Kiwanis basketball tournament Friday night.
Jeff Barlow and Scott Blough each came off the bench and hit a pair of three-point shots in the second half and three in the game. Each finished with 15 points.
“It was an awesome game,” Barlow said. “We have some great perimeter shooters, and we all believe in each other. We have a lot of talent on this team.”
Moorpark (5-0) will play Antelope Valley (5-1) in the semifinals at 6 tonight. Harbor (3-3) meets Hancock (1-2) in a consolation semifinal at 2 p.m.
Moorpark and Harbor were tied nine times, seven in the first half, which ended with the Raiders trailing, 36-34. Moorpark took the game’s biggest lead, 78-70, in the final minute.
The Raiders three times held seven-point advantages that were narrowed quickly by the Seahawks.
“It was an important game for us,” said Blough, a Simi Valley High graduate who made four free throws in the last 15 seconds after Harbor closed within 80-77 with 18 seconds left and 82-80 with nine seconds to play.
“We’re starting to get real confident,” Blough said. “We’ve been coming up real good in the second half.”
Moorpark wiped out a halftime deficit and took a 43-38 lead after a 9-2 run to begin the second half. The Raiders never trailed after that. During the stretch, Moorpark point guard Marcus Pena scored six points, all after steals--two by Pena and one by Shawn Williams.
After that, it was bombs away for the Raiders, who made six of seven three-point shots in the next 10 minutes to build a 69-62 lead. Moorpark made 11 of 14 shots in that span.
Still, Harbor battled to the end behind forward Tarron Williams, who scored 23 points.
Pena finished with 20 points and three steals, and Williams had eight points and three steals.
Also for Moorpark, El Camino Real High graduate Cameron Henderson scored 12 points to go with nine rebounds and three steals.
Moorpark made 30 of 58 shots.
Ventura 74, Mt. San Antonio 61--Sam Turks scored 15 points and James Lee added 11 as the Pirates pulled away down the stretch in another first-round game.
The Pirates (2-3) outscored Mt. San Antonio (4-3), 17-8, in the last 3 minutes, 38 seconds.
The victory moves Ventura, which has won the state junior college title the past two seasons and its own tournament the past six years in a row, into the semifinals against Rio Hondo at 8 tonight. Mt. SAC will take on College of the Sequoias in a consolation-bracket game at 4 today.
Jamar Bailey had 12 points to lead Mt. SAC.
Antelope Valley 81, Allan Hancock 66--Michael Hamelin scored 22 points and Shaun Murray added 15 to help the Marauders rally from an early deficit.
Antelope Valley (5-1), which opened the season with four consecutive victories before losing to Long Beach City, trailed Allan Hancock (1-2) by deficits of three to six points through the first 11 minutes of the game.
Behind Hamelin, who scored 16 of his points in the first half, the Marauders took a 34-31 halftime lead and extended it in the second half.
“It wasn’t the way we wanted to do it, really,” Hamelin said. “But I think not only our depth, but also our confidence really helped us to come back.”
Normally the Marauders’ shooting guard, Hamelin played point guard in place of Trevor Beal, out with a sprained ankle. Hamelin shot eight of 16 from the field, four of five from the free-throw line, and had six assists.
Hancock, which was hurt by foul trouble and 24 turnovers, got 22 points apiece from Keenan Anderson and Jeff Smith.
Murray, Antelope Valley’s center, made nine of 10 free throws and had seven rebounds. Jonathan George led the Marauders with 10 rebounds.
The Marauders, who also committed 24 turnovers, pulled away by outscoring the Bulldogs, 11-3, to open the second half and take a 45-34 lead.
Hancock never drew closer than five points after that.
“It was ugly,” Antelope Valley coach Newton Chelette said. “But I guess if you win by 15 points or whatever it was that way, then I guess you’ve got a little something going for you.”