Men's basketball team escapes with win at Cypress

Courtesy of Toni Lavacot
Courtesy of Toni Lavacot

Irvine Valley's men's basketball team won its second straight Orange Empire Conference game, beating Cypress, 58-54, Wednesday night at Cypress.

It was Irvine Valley's second win over Cypress this season with the other victory coming in the consolation final of the Santa Barbara City Tournament in December.

The win improved Irvine Valley's record to 10-9 overall and 3-1 in conference. It also moved the Lasers up in the conference standings.

With Saddleback falling to Riverside on Wednesday, IVC is just a half game behind Saddleback (4-1 in conference) for first place.

Irvine Valley led by as many as 10 points over Cypress in the first half on Wednesday.

The Chargers came back to take a 27-23 lead at halftime.

Cypress took its largest lead of the game at 34-27, on two free throws by Isaiah Taylor with 17:32 left in the game.

But Irvine Valley then went on a 13-0 run. Sophomore guard Jimmy Golden started the run with a three-pointer. His layup with 15:04 left tied the score at 34-34.

Sophomore forward Chris Porter and sophomore guard Ronnie Harris capped the run with two free throws each to give IVC a 40-34 advantage with 11:56 remaining.

The Lasers held a comfortable lead and were up by nine points (54-45) with 3:35 left by freshman forward Craig Magyar.

But Cypress got back in it after a jumper by Jeremy Wright, a dunk by Nolan Kelly and two free throws by Wright.

IVC was up just 54-51 with 1:05 to play.

Golden made a layup to make Irvine Valley's lead five points with 46 seconds to play.

Sophomore guard Chris Salas later sank two free throws to seal the win.

IVC was led by Magyar, who came off the bench with 10 points and six rebounds. Golden had nine points and five rebounds and Salas and Harris each contributed eight points in the victory.

The Lasers shot 46.7 percent (21 of 45) from the field and helped hold Cypress to just 32.1 percent (17 of 53).

Irvine Valley dominated down low, winning the battle of the boards, 38-26, and out-scoring Cypress, 30-16, in the paint.

Cypress' record slipped to 8-11 overall and 1-3 in conference.

Irvine Valley plays again on Friday, traveling to Santa Ana for a 7 p.m. game.

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