May 27, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

IVC women’s basketball team advances into finals of tournament

 Irvine Valley guard Lexi Vail drives to the basket during this week’s tournament.

It took a while, but the Irvine Valley women’s basketball team ended up rolling to a 66-42 win over Barstow in a semifinal game of its own tournament on Friday night.

The Vikings, who were playing with just five players because of injuries, hung right with the Lasers for three quarters.

Irvine Valley had just a 43-38 lead heading into the final period.

But IVC opened up the fourth quarter on a 10-1 run and never looked back. The Lasers ended up out-scoring Barstow, 23-4, in the fourth quarter.

Barstow had a player foul out with 4:25 left and had to play the final minutes with four players.

The Lasers were up only 14,13, after the first quarter and, 28-20, at the end of the first half after shooting just 36.4 percent from the field in the opening half.

But Irvine Valley, which improved its record to 4-1, was finally able to pick up the pace of the game and advanced to Saturday’s championship game.

IVC will take on El Camino in the final on Saturday. The Lasers are after their second straight title in the Irvine Valley event.

El Camino was an easy 73-39 winner over Santa Monica in the other semifinal on Friday.

Salihah Bey led El Camino with 26 points and 11 rebounds and Ashley Nguyen contributed 16 points, six assists and five steals.

In Irvine Valley’s win, freshman center Zoe Stachowski finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman guard Anai Washington had 12 points and five rebounds and sophomore guard Lexi Vail (JSerra High) ended with 10 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals.

Freshman guard Emma Vasquez (Segerstrom High) contributed nine points off the bench for IVC.

Barstow was paced by Zoe Hartmann, who finished with 22 points and eight rebounds. Tiare Alefalo had nine points and 10 rebounds and Anne Marie Hernandez ended with seven points and 14 rebounds.

The final day of the Irvine Valley Tournament on Saturday begins at noon with the consolation title game featuring Rio Hondo against Cuesta. Santa Monica and Barstow meet in the third-place game at 2 p.m., followed by the championship between El Camino and Irvine Valley.