East County Sports

Comets edged in big game with Ventura


East County Sports staff report

VENTURA (1-13-2010) – For the Palomar College athletic program, it was a severe case of déjà vu. In fact, a quite unfortunate case of history repeating.

Twenty-four hours earlier, the Comets lost a 70-69 men’s basketball game to Grossmont on a basket in the final seconds. The shot came with 19 seconds remaining.

In a battle of state-ranked ballclubs Saturday (Jan. 12), the school’s women’s basketball suffered an even meaner defeat. Yes, they lost, and yes, the score was also 70-69. But the time element was even more unforgiving.

Ventura College guard Cece Quintino capped her game-high 27-point effort with a jump shot with 1.2 seconds remaining, sending the No. 13-ranked Pirates past No. 8 Palomar at the Southern California Challenge.

Quinter’s basket allowed Ventura (15-7) to survive after tossing away a 58-69 lead with 9:49 left. Palomar fell to 13-5 overall.

Trailing by 9 moments into the fourth period, the Comets’ Taylor Williams made two foul shots, then Imari Cooley tallied three straight baskets to move within 60-57.

Later, they moved to within a single point three times, including the final of six 3-point goals from off the bench by Sara Ahmadpour, making it 66-65 with 3:25 to go. And when Williams added another free throw at the 1:24 mark, the game was tied.

In the final minute, Ventura committed a turnover, with Williams getting the ball inside, scoring while being fouled. The traditional 3-point play gave Palmar its first lead since the first half.

However, Quintero scored a layin while bring fouled, but missed the foul shot with 26 seconds left. Forced to foul, the Comets then missed their front end of a one-and-one, setting up Quintero for her game-winner off a pass from Victoria Maciel. Quintero scored 11 of her points in the final period.

For Ventura, Maciel added 14 points, while LaDaesha Merriweather produced a massive double-double with 12 points and 21 rebounds.

Ahmadpour led Palomar with 20 points. Among the starters, Clarissa Taite led with 10 points. but she was 0-for-7 on 3-point shots, as the Comets were a composite 8-for-43 (18.6 percent) from beyond the arc. The 43 attempts is believed to rank among the school’s all-time highs.

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