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Moorpark Raiders seize heavy-hearted victory over cross-county rival Ventura College

Head+Coach+Kenny+Plummer%2C+left%2C+stands+for+the+national+anthem+alongside+the+women%27s+basketball+team+before+their+game+against+Ventura+College+in+the+Moorpark+College+gym%2C+on+Feb.+6%2C+2019.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt
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Moorpark Raiders seize heavy-hearted victory over cross-county rival Ventura College

Head Coach Kenny Plummer, left, stands for the national anthem alongside the women's basketball team before their game against Ventura College in the Moorpark College gym, on Feb. 6, 2019. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Head Coach Kenny Plummer, left, stands for the national anthem alongside the women's basketball team before their game against Ventura College in the Moorpark College gym, on Feb. 6, 2019. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Head Coach Kenny Plummer, left, stands for the national anthem alongside the women's basketball team before their game against Ventura College in the Moorpark College gym, on Feb. 6, 2019. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Head Coach Kenny Plummer, left, stands for the national anthem alongside the women's basketball team before their game against Ventura College in the Moorpark College gym, on Feb. 6, 2019. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Robert Gonzales

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The Moorpark College women’s basketball team endured an emotional game on Wednesday but came out victorious despite the whirlwind of grief that struck the team a few days before.

The rivalry game against Ventura College was originally scheduled for Feb. 2 but was postponed after freshman forward Kristen Sullivan found out her father had passed away.

“I wasn’t sure about this game, I wasn’t sure how I’d handle it,” Sullivan said. “Emotions-wise I lost it for a second, but I composed myself because I know that’s what he would [have] wanted.”

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Freshman Kristen Sullivan looks past a defender during Moorpark College's game against Ventura College on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, in the Moorpark gym. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Sullivan played an outstanding game in memory of her late father, scoring 15 points off of five 3-pointers.

“I know that his favorite shot was threes and he loved when I made them so it’s always for him,” Sullivan said.

The Raiders team showed their strong bond on and off the court, as sophomore center Barbara Rangel comforted Sullivan any time she got choked up looking for the right words to say.

Freshman point guard Breanna Calhoun jumped in on Sullivan’s behalf and reassured her hurt teammate anyway she could.

“We’re definitely really proud of her to be able to come through and play,” Calhoun said. “Obviously that’s a hard thing to do and we just all support her and show her, you know, we’re here for her.”

Sullivan’s 15 points were exactly what the team needed to beat their rival. The Raiders walked off the court with a 14-point lead, 96-82.

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Sophomore Center Barbara Rangel launches her free throw during Moorpark's rivalry game against Ventura College on Feb. 6, 2019, in the Moorpark gym. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Rangel and Calhoun also imprinted their will on the Raiders’ victory. Rangel was two assists shy of a triple-double, posting 17 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists. A regularity for Rangel this year and enough for her 23rd double double of the season.

Calhoun closed out the victory with near perfection at the free throw line. As a top scorer for the team, she continued to find ways to get the ball in her hands when Ventura needed to foul.

Composed at the moment, she displayed clutch mentality, knocking down nine out of 10 free throws in the final two minutes of the game.

She put Ventura away with 38 total points, but more importantly, she made sure they couldn’t come back because of missed free throws, like the one heart-break loss they experienced against East Los Angeles a few weeks ago.

“She’s just so naturally competitive. Her fire drives all of us,” Rangel said about point-guard Calhoun.

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Breanna Calhoun shoots a free throw during the last period of Moorpark College's game against Ventura College on Feb. 6, 2019, in the Moorpark gym. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

After the 96-82 victory over Ventura, Moorpark then went on to defeat Cuesta College 84-35, remaining undefeated in conference play.

They retook first place in the California Community College Athletic Association and got a preview of what to expect in the upcoming SoCal regional playoffs which will certainly include the No. 15 state-ranked Ventura College.

With only four games remaining, including a conference-deciding rematch against Ventura, Moorpark looks primed and ready for state playoffs to begin.

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About the Writer
Robert Gonzales, Senior reporter

Robert Gonzales is a senior sports reporter. He received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, but was mesmerized investigating...

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