Men's basketball team tops Ventura to move on in classic

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

Irvine Valley's men's basketball team got off to a solid start in trying to defend the title in its own Irvine Valley Classic.

The Lasers, ranked No. 19 in the Southern California preseason poll, defeated No. 20 Ventura, 72-64, Thursday night.

Irvine Valley has won the tournament the last three years in a row.

Freshman forward Lance Coleman II had another big effort. Coleman finished with 27 points, which tied his season-high.

He made 10 of 16 shots from the field, including 5 of 10 from three-point range. Coleman also added nine rebounds.

He was just one of two Laser players in double figures. Sophomore point guard Zuri Williams had 12 points, four rebounds and five assists.

Sophomore post player Zach Harvey chipped in eight points and four rebounds and sophomore guard Mike Turner had seven points and four rebounds.

Sophomore guard Anthony Hernandez dished out five assists.

Irvine Valley shot 51.0 percent (26 of 51) from the field in the game, while Ventura shot just 32.4 percent (22 of 68).

But the game was tight most of the second half.

Irvine Valley was up, 35-28, at the half and took an 11-point lead a minute into the second half.

But Ventura chipped away and took a 51-49 lead on a three-pointer by Ryan Sells with 8:29 to go.

Irvine Valley scored four straight points, including getting a jumper by Coleman to go up, 53-51, with 6:56 left.

A basket by Ventura's Isaiah Reyes tied the score at 53-53 with 5:41 to play.

The Lasers took the lead for good their next time down the floor. Turner nailed a three-pointer to put IVC ahead, 56-53 with 5:41 left.

Ventura got within 61-59 after a three-pointer by Cordel Hankerson with 3:22 to go. But Irvine Valley then went on an 11-0 run to put the game away.

Coleman hit a jumper, Harvey made two free throws, Williams knocked down a jump shot and then later made a free throw and Coleman sank two free throws to give Irvine Valley a 68-59 lead with 40 seconds remaining.

Ventura got 12 points and five assists from Reyes, 12 points from Trevor LaCount, 11 points and five rebounds from Hankerson and 10 points and 10 rebounds from Vida Faniel.

Irvine Valley moves on to play Santa Monica in a semifinal game Friday night at 7 p.m., while Ventura will play Long Beach City in a consolation round game at 3 p.m. Friday.

Earlier winners on Thursday were Cerritos and Canyons.

2016 Irvine Valley College Classic

Nov. 17 - First Day Results

Cerritos def. Imperial Valley, 66-51

Canyons def. Cuyamaca, 74-60

Irvine Valley def. Ventura, 72-64

Santa Monica def. Long Beach City, 82-74

Nov. 18 - Second Day Schedule

Imperial Valley vs. Cuyamaca at 1 p.m.

Ventura vs. Long Beach City at 3 p.m.

Cerritos vs. Canyons at 5 p.m.

Irvine Valley vs. Santa Monica at 7 p.m.

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