No. 9 Story of Year - Men's basketball team reaches No. 1

No. 9 Story of Year - Men's basketball team reaches No. 1

Continuing Irvine Valley athletics top 10 stories of the 2013-14 school year at No. 9 was the Laser men's basketball team reaching a milestone for the program last December.


For the first time in program history, the Irvine Valley men's basketball team achieved the No. 1 ranking in the state.

It happened last December when the weekly poll put out by the California Community College Athletic Association was released.

Irvine Valley has a record of 12-0 overall at the time, which was the best start to a season ever in program history.

The Lasers, who were ranked 11th the previous week, were coming off winning the Santa Barbara City tournament. It was the team's third tourney of the year.

Irvine Valley defeated Victor Valley, 84-78, in the title game in Santa Barbara. Freshman point guard Jalen Hall was named the MVP of the tournament and sophomore center Declan Daly was picked all-tournament.

IVC had been ranked No. 2 in the state twice before. The last time came in the 2009-10 season. That year, Irvine Valley went to the state tournament.

In the poll last December, the rest of the top five behind IVC was Fresno City, Chaffey, Ohlone and San Francisco.

Unfortunately, the team's unbeaten streak ended right there at 12 games to start the 2013-14 season. IVC dropped its next contest, falling to Mt. San Jacinto, 59-41, in the opening round of the Brummel Classic at Saddleback.

The Lasers did bounce back with six more wins in a row, including beating Cypress, Orange Coast and then Saddleback in overtime in early January to open Orange Empire Conference play.

And they held on to that top ranking in the state until early January.

Irvine Valley had a record of 18-1 after the 64-63 overtime win at Saddleback. Sophomore guard Shaquille Hunter hit the game-winning three-pointer in the final second of overtime to pull out the win for IVC.

The Lasers went on to end the year with a 25-5 record overall and a 9-3 record in conference, which was good for third place. Saddleback and Santa Ana tied for the title with 10-2 marks.

IVC was ranked No. 18 in the final poll of the regular season in mid-February.

Irvine Valley ended up making the Southern California Regional Playoffs. It beat Grossmont in the opening round and then lost at San Bernardino Valley in the second round.

Hunter, Daly and freshman forward Chris Porter each earned first team all-conference honors. Sophomore guard Dathon Spencer, who signed with the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, was named second-team all-conference.

Hunter, who signed with Cal State Dominquez Hills, led the team in scoring at 15.0 points per game. Daly, who signed with Cal State San Marcos, averaged 8.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.


*In leading up to the start of the 2014-15 athletics campaign at Irvine Valley, which starts on Aug. 25 with women's volleyball, the Laser athletic department will countdown the top 10 IVC sports stories from the 2013-14 school year.

The countdown will begin on Thursday, Aug. 7 with the No. 10 story of the year and work its way down to No. 1 on Thursday, Aug. 21.

Some of the top stories in the running for the top 10 include special seasons by the women's soccer, men's tennis, women's volleyball and women's sand volleyball teams along with individual accolades earned by several IVC athletes for hard work both on the playing fields and courts and in the classroom.

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