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Girls Basketball

Ventura’s Discipline, Defense Too Much for Dos Pueblos

Ventura’s Aubrey Knight gets inside Dos Pueblos’ defense to score two of her game-high 20 points. Click to view larger
Ventura’s Aubrey Knight gets inside Dos Pueblos’ defense to score two of her game-high 20 points. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

The Dos Pueblos girls basketball team got a taste of what it’s like to play in the Open Division of the CIF playoffs when it took on Ventura in a Channel League game on Friday night.

Ventura is ranked eighth in Division 1AA and expected to be among the 16 elite teams chosen for the Open Division when the playoff pairings are announced next weekend.

The Cougars played solid in all phases of the game and showed Division 2AA fourth-ranked Dos Pueblos why they are one of the top teams in the Southern Section in roaring to a 63-40 victory at Sovine Gym.

The win clinched the Channel League outright title for Ventura (19-5, 7-0). Dos Pueblos fell to 19-4 and 3-3 in league.

Emily Herring set the tone on defense for the Cougars by shutting down DP playmaker and leading scorer Camila Casanueva in the first half. Ventura’s half-court trap also caused DP problems early in the game. The Cougars forced several turnovers which they converted into points.

Ventura built a 24-11 lead in the first quarter and outscored DP 11-2 in the second to take a commanding 35-13 advantage by halftime.

“At times we have the discipline to wait it out and move the ball around and find an opening,” DP coach Phil Sherman said of playing against the trap. “Either we’re turning it over or taking a quick shot, which is kind of the same thing.”

Casanueva broke free in the third quarter and scored 11 points, but Ventura stretched DP’s defense with good spacing and ball movement and went on a 13-2 run in the quarter to go up 56-24.

Aubrey Knight led a balanced Ventura offense with 20 points, Svannah Page hit four three-pointer en route to 16 points, Herring scored 10 and Jazmin Carrasco added nine on a trio of three-pointers.

Casanueva scored all of her 16 points in the second half to lead Dos Pueblos and Holly Barrera added 12. 

Sherman said his players understand that Ventura is one of the best teams they’ll face.

“They know, but we also feel we can play with them, and we do it for stretches,” he said. “Ventura is disciplined all the time. We’re disciplined some of the time. There’s not a play where they aren’t busting and going to the boards, and really D’ing up. That’s why they’re a great team.”

Dos Pueblos is back on the court Monday at Santa Barbara.

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