Dons let Cougars get out of reach

Ventura remained the undisputed King in the Channel League with a 56-31 shellacking of Santa Barbara on Wednesday night in the Dons’ gym.

After the two teams played equal in the first quarter, the Cougars increased their lead in every period after. It was 12-12 after one, then 32-20 at half. Ventura built it up to 43-25 after three and closed out the game by outscoring the Dons 13-6 in the final frame.

“We didn’t rebound well, we didn’t move the ball well, we didn’t move very well, we didn’t compete very well,” said Dons head coach David Bregante. “That’s on me. I got to do a better job of getting them ready to do that.”

Nick Rudolph led Ventura with 19 points as the Cougars improve to 4-0 in league play. It’s the 16th league win in a row for Ventura.

“That’s the team we got to compete against,” Bregante said. “If we want to be where they are, we got to do a lot of different things better.”

The Dons fall to 2-2 in league and 7-8 overall. Ventura is 13-4.

“Santa Barbara is a much improved team and so we had some hard practices getting ready preparing for them,” said Cougars head coach Dan Larson. “We didn’t take them lightly by any means.”

San Cohen led Santa Barbara in scoring with eight points. Andy Busch was limited because of foul trouble but added six points.

“After about four minutes into the second quarter we started turning the ball over. They got up by 10 and we never got back,” Cohen explained.

Cohen gave Santa Barbara an 18-16 lead in the second quarter but the Dons fell into a dry spell during which Ventura scored 14 unanswered to take a 30-18 lead. The Dons were unable to bring the lead under 10 points again.

The Dons have a week off until their next game on Wednesday at Buena. Their second matchup with Dos Pueblos is that Friday.

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