For years Dos Pueblos and Ventura battled as Channel League rivals, but after league realignment halted the matchup the two teams met in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 3AA playoffs on Friday night.
Ventura, fresh off an undefeated run through the Pacific View League, cruised to a 58-42 victory ending the Chargers’ season.
“I just know (Dan Larson’s) teams are going to compete, I know they’re going to be physical, I know they’re going to really extend their defense, which they did and we worked on that during the week,” said Dos Pueblos coach Joe Zamora. “Fortunately for them they hit more shots than we did.”
The inside-outside combination of Derrick Young and Andrew Ramirez was as complementary as it was explosive for Ventura. The Chargers were forced to double team the 6’6” 260 pound Young inside, which opened things up for shooters such as Ramirez, who drained four timely three pointers.
Ramirez and Young finished with 16 and 15 points respectively.
“It’s hard, you have to pick your poison on what you want to take away,” Zamora said. “Unfortunately Young hit some shots that really opened it up for the perimeter.”
Eight first quarter points by Ramirez put the Cougars ahead 19-11 going into the second quarter. Hot-shooting by Baylor Huyck kept Dos Pueblos close at the outset of the second quarter as his third three-pointer of the first half cut the Chargers’ deficit to 23-17.
Huyck finished with a game-high 17 points.
However, Ventura closed the first half on a 15-0 run to take a 38-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Dos Pueblos standout Jaron Rillie, was held scoreless in the first half as Ventura swarmed him with constant double teams, but he broke loose for nine points in the third quarter, including back-to-back three-point plays that cut the Dos Pueblos deficit to 46-33 with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter.
A Kael Rillie three-pointer shrunk the Dos Pueblos deficit to 48-36 early in the fourth quarter, but Jaron Rillie was forced to leave the game with injury ending his standout high school career and dashing any hope of a Dos Pueblos comeback.
“Jaron is our best player and in my eyes, once again, he is the best player in the Channel League,” Zamora said. “They did a really good job in the first half containing him, double and triple teaming him. In the second half, though, he was ready to go.”
Ventura will advance to play Highland in a second round game on Tuesday.
Boys Basketball First Round Results
Santa Barbara 71 San Gabriel 40
Windward 82 San Marcos 38
Cate 70 St. Michael’s Prep 58