Ventura Cougars take home a 31 point win against Pacifica Tritons


Junior Andrew Ramirez (number 20) with an impressive save pass to Senior Mateo Fuentes who went on to shoot a buzzer beater at the end of the third. Photo By: Malik Hibbler

Gavin Cross and Malik Hibbler

On Wednesday January 9, the Varsity boys basketball team played their first league game at home against the Tritons from Pacifica High School. The Cougars went in to this game and league with a record of 11-8.

Jump Ball! The tip off at the beginning of the game went to the tritons and for a series of drives neither teams scored a point. Until senior Derrick Young (number 41) came through with a layup to put two points on the board for the cougars a minute and a half into the game. Following Young, Caleb Gilbert scored  three-pointer bumping the score up 5-0. Pacifica got their first two fouls called in the same minute. With 3:11 left in the first quarter, senior Mateo Fuentes (number 24) subbed in for junior Nate Johnston (number 32). Soon after that, Senior Eddie Pacula (number 25) stole the ball and passed it to Isaiah Montano (number 22) for a fast break layup which put them up 7-0. With two and a half minutes left in the quarter, Johnston got the Cougars first foul, and on the free throw senior Jack Cabrera (number 30) subbed in for Montano. Seniors Pacula and Fuentes were able to score five more points for the Cougars in the first quarter and the Tritons put up six points by the buzzer. 12-6 was the score at the end of the first.

In the first two minutes of the second quarter, Gilbert and Young put up four more points while the Tritons scored four more points as well, putting the score at 16-10. Pacifica shot for three and made it and on the next drive, senior Pacula able to bounce back with another three-pointer. The score was now 19-15, Cougars still up. Later in the second quarter, Junior Aidan Garza (number 23), Pacula and Senior Cade Auster (number 21) were subbed in. The cougars scored fifteen more points before the half and Pacifica scored another five. The score at the half was 34-20, Cougars up.

At half time there were performances by Ventura High school’s cheer, dance, and hip-hop team.

In the third quarter, sophomore Caleb Gilbert was able to show off a weapon of his and dunk the ball, getting the crowd and team hyped(this was accompanied by a second dunk in the fourth quarter. Post-game i asked Gilbert about how his two dunks felt and he responded “Dunking feels like the world just disappears and it’s just you vs the rim. It’s a real adrenaline rush.” Junior Andrew Ramirez (number 20) also boosted the cougars lead by nailing four back to back three-pointers. By the end of the third quarter, the score was 61-29.

With a hefty lead, the Cougars decided on a full line up change, putting in Senior Eddie Ornelas (number 42) , Pacula, Fuentes, Garza and Johnston. Together they scored twelve more points and the tritons scored thirteen more points. This gave the Cougars a 31 point win! In a post-game interview with Senior Eddie Pacula, we asked and the win felt and he told us, “Feels amazing, being  our first league game, a win puts us in a good position so far.” We also asked his opinion on the best moments of the game and he said, “I think some of the best moments of the game were Caleb Gilbert, two dunks in one game!” Good luck to the Varsity boys on the rest of their season.

Ramirez with an open fast break layup to put the cougars up by two more points. Photo By: Malik Hibbler
Junior Andrew Ramirez (number 20) with an impressive save pass to Senior Mateo Fuentes who went on to shoot a buzzer beater at the end of the third. Photo By: Malik Hibbler
Junior Aidan Garza (number 23) keeps his foot planted as he looks for an open pass. Photo By: Malik Hibbler