Cougars send the the Spartans back to the arena


Riley Ramirez and Peyton Redmond

The Cougars win their third league game of the season against the Rio Mesa Spartans

Students and parents gathered in the Tuttle Gym to watch the varsity boys basketball game against Rio Mesa High School on the night of Friday, Jan. 11. This was the Cougars’s third league game of the season, and they walked out with the win, raising their league record 2-1 and their overall record 14-7.

To start the first quarter, there was a moment of silence for coaches Dan and Ann Larson due to their recent loss of their son. Within the first minute of the game, junior Caleb Gilbert (number 33) scored the first three points of the game. Less than 30 seconds later, Gilbert shot the ball for another two points. The first quarter was a constant score of points for the Cougars and the Spartans, ending with a score of 16-14, Ventura in the lead.

Senior Nathan Johnston (number 32) shoots for the two points during the second quarter at six minutes thirty-eight seconds, bringing the score to 21-16. Photo by: Riley Ramirez

Senior Nathan Johnston (number 32) started quarter two with a shot from the three-point line, setting the scoreboard 19-14. A minute later, Johnston scored two more points for Ventura, while Rio Mesa followed with two points scored as well. Following fouls made by the opposing team, senior Aidan Garza (number 23) shot two free throws at five minutes forty-two seconds, bringing up the score 23-16.

After a scoring streak from the spartans, which included two successful shots from the three-point line and a free throw, Rio Mesa brought their score up seven points to 23. Junior Fernando Ochoa (number 22) managed to steal the ball from Rio Mesa and score three extra points for the Cougars, followed by a 3-point shot by Johnston. With a stressful final 30 seconds before halftime, Rio Mesa called for their first timeout of the game. Following this, the second quarter ended with Ventura still in the lead 29-25.

At halftime, there were performances made by Ventura High’s cheer, dance and hip-hop team. These performances were followed by loud cheers from the audience, filled with parents of the performers, athletes and students.

Ochoa shared his team goals for the 2020 varsity season, “[This season] we are looking forward to hopefully competing in league finals, make it to CIF and come out successful.” Junior Liam Cameron (number 35) also shared some struggles so far this season, “I need to improve on my free throws. These last few games I haven’t been doing good but thats okay, we’ll get there.”

Third quarter had the most points scored between the cougars and the spartans, finishing in a very close score going into the fourth quarter. To start, Johnston scored the first three-point shot of the quarter, followed by a three-point shot from Rio Mesa. By the end of the third quarter, Ventura scored a total of 11 more points, Rio Mesa accumulated 12 points, ending the third 43-37.

Junior Fernando Ochoa (number 22) commented, “[This season] we are looking forward to hopefully compete in league finals, make it to CIF and come out successful.” Photo by: Riley Ramirez
Fourth quarter started by echoing cheers from the students and parents of the varsity cougars when Gilbert slam dunked the ball into the hoop, scoring two points to start. The last points for the cougars were made by Ochoa, which was a successful three-point shot. Rio Mesa made the last points of the night, followed by a timeout and two other timeouts from Ventura. The cougars ended the game with the win, the final score 52-47.