LANCASTER — Just 12.2 seconds from the finish, John Taylor finally got a call.
A technical foul.
It helped pad the finish of Ventura’s 62-55 victory over Antelope Valley College in the semifinal round of the 68th Annual Gregg Anderson Memorial Tournament.
“That was my first ’T’ in five or six years,” said the AVC coach. “I hate to do that, and I apologized to our team.
“But sometimes you have to do something when the officiating is as bad as it was tonight.”
Ventura (5-4) moves on to meet Santa Monica in the championship round Sunday at 5 p.m.
The Marauders (2-7) play San Bernardino Valley in the third place game at 3 p.m.
The Wolverines (8-2) dropped a hard-fought 70-65 decision to the Corsairs (8-3).
AVC’s rematch of a 106-94 overtime loss at Ventura Nov. 2 was its total antithesis.
The home team failed to score for the first seven minutes of the game.
AVC fell behind 19-5 and then 24-13 before a counterattack that closed the halftime deficit to 29-24.
The Marauders shot a dreadful 32 percent from the floor in the first half.
For the game, they made 4-of-19 from the three-point arc.
“We shoot on these rims every day,” Taylor said. “I just can’t understand why we have shot the ball so poorly in these last two games.”
Halfway through the second half, AVC was down 44-30.
Then the Pirates were held without a field goal for nearly six minutes, and suddenly it was 50-49 AVC on Deshay Gipson’s longball from the wing with 4:17 to play.
AVC would only score five points the rest of the way.
Dayveon Bates and Dayshone Henry combined for 24 points in the Ventura starting lineup.
Thomas Dangerfield came off the bench to add 19 points for the Pirates.
Da’Jour Lewis (10 points) and Habib Arogundade (11) were the only Marauders to score in double figures.
Floor leader Dion Troupe (nine points, six assists, four rebounds) nearly floor-generated AVC all the way back.
“Our team was gritty tonight,” Taylor said.”It was a messy game with poor shooting and then all those foul calls.
“But I liked the way our guys competed.”