The No. 1-ranked Ventura College women's basketball team improved to 11-0 with a 68-61 win over No. 9 Fresno City College Saturday night in the semifinals of the 16-team Gilcrest Invitational in Visalia.
Michelle Santizo had 15 points, including three 3-pointers, and Erika Ward, Jessi Selleh and Julie Heurung all added 12 points apiece. Heurung also added 10 rebounds and three assists.
"They played hard than we did in the first half... but we found a way to close it out," said Ventura coach Ned Mircetic.
The win avenged the Pirates' state quarterfinal elimination at the Rams' hands last March.
"It was amazing," said sophomore center Julie Heurung. "It was just good because I could tell how much it meant to the sophomores and coaches."
It also moved Ventura into a final rematch with three-time defending state champion Mount San Antonio College Sunday afternoon, when it can win the tournament for the first time since 2001-02.
With a 9-8 record against Ventura, Mount SAC is the only team in the state with a winning record over Mircetic's Pirates in at least five contests.
"It's the same thing that it was last week," said coach Ned Mircetic. "They're all big games because you only get one shot at each game."
The Pirates defeated the Mounties, 65-42, Sunday in the final of the VC-Kiwanis Tournament of Champions to end the Mounties' 45-game winning streak