From the moment the final buzzer sounded, it was obvious that Saturday's 85-84 loss at Cuesta would put the Ventura College men's basketball team in a difficult position in the WSC North race
But how's this for awkward?
It's looking like the Pirates are going to have to root for rival Moorpark to upend the first-place Cougars for the second time this season Saturday in San Luis Obispo.
"I would hate to be dependant on us, if I was them," said Moorpark coach Remy McCarthy, jokingly. "But we'll give it the old college try."
Fourth-place Moorpark (7-15, 3-4) has lost three straight tough ones, but the Raiders, featuring the backcourt of Coltrane Powdrill and Jamal McClerkin, remain the only team to beat Cuesta (19-7, 7-1) in WSC North play.
Powdrill had 23 points and nine rebounds and Sahdi Odu had 16 points in Moorpark's 75-66 win over Cuesta Jan. 11 at Raider Pavilion.
Cuesta has taken command of the WSC North race in the past five days by coming from 10 points down with 3:55 to play against VC Saturday, then turning a 29-25 halftime deficit into a 60-53 win at third-place Hancock Wednesday.
"They beat us in the second half on our own home floor, and that hasn't happened in more than a year," Hancock coach Ralph Gorton told the Santa Maria Times.
If Cuesta can get past Moorpark Saturday, the three remaining teams on its schedule are the bottom three teams in the standings, Oxnard, Los Angeles Pierce and Santa Barbara City, who are a combined 1-12 against the other four teams in the WSC North.