Men's basketball team readies for conference with victory

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

Irvine Valley's men's basketball team shook off a sluggish first half and rallied for a 62-58 win over LA Valley in its last nonconference game of the 2017-18 schedule on Friday night at home.

The Lasers, who improved their record to 11-6 overall, begin Orange Empire Conference play next Wednesday at home against Orange Coast at 5 p.m.

Irvine Valley trailed LA Valley (3-11), 28-26, at the end of the first half, but out-scored the Monarchs, 36-30, in the final 20 minutes.

Sophomore forward Parker Sims led the way with 18 points and 14 rebounds. He made 7 of 10 shots from the field and 4 of 5 free throws. Ten of Sims' 14 rebounds came on the offensive end.

Sophomore guard Daniel Hernandez added 16 points and four assists and freshman guard Kevin Olsen came off the bench with eight points, four rebounds and five assists.

Irvine Valley shot just 34.9 percent (22 of 63) from the field in the game, but did out-rebound LA Valley, 42-37, and kept its turnovers to just eight for the game. LA Valley had 18 turnovers in the contest.

LA Valley led by as many as nine points in the first half before IVC cut the lead down to two points going into the break. Sims scored Irvine Valley's final two baskets of the first half.

And then Irvine Valley went on a 7-2 run to open the second half and take the lead for good.

Olsen made a three-pointer off an assist from Hernandez to put IVC ahead, 31-30, with 18:08 to play. Sims added a layup off an Olsen assist to make it a 33-30 game.

IVC increased its lead to as many as eight points in the second half before holding on down the stretch.

LA Valley pulled to within 57-56 and then later 59-58 on a layup by Dejwan Walker with 22 seconds to play.

But Olsen sank two free throws with 16 seconds left to make it 61-58.

LA Valley's Christian Morataya missed a three-pointer with six seconds left and then IVC freshman forward Cameron Griffin sank 1 of 2 from the line with four seconds to seal the game.

LA Valley was paced by Morataya, who had 19 points, four rebounds and three assists, Elijah Bonds, who finished with 15 points and seven rebounds and Christian Hodge, who ended with 11 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

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