June 15, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Irvine boys basketball team ready for first CIF playoff appearance in nine years

Irvine players celebrate following a PCL Tournament playoff victory at Portola Friday. (Photo: OC Sports Zone).

It’s an exciting week for Irvine High School’s boys basketball team which is preparing for its first appearance in the CIF playoffs since the 2014-15 season.

Irvine (15-13) is the No. 3 seed in the 4A division and opens against Midland School at Dunn School in Los Olivos Wednesday at 7 pm.

“It is quite a ways away, but we are excited to be a three seed in 4A,” said Irvine Coach Harry Meussner. “This is our first playoff appearance in nine years so the team and school are happy to be moving onto CIF. There is a lot of energy around it. However, we know the job is not done.

“With a win Wednesday, it would be our first playoff win in 15 years.”

Irvine is led by junior center Cooper Stearns, who leads the Vaqueros with 20.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.4 steals and one block a game.

Senior guard Jaesang An is leading Irvine in 3-point shots made and in free throw percentage (79 percent).

Another standout has been junior Taewon Kim, who has “held many PCL star players to single digit points during league,” Meussner said.

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—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com