Men's basketball team gets important win over Copper Mountain

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

Irvine Valley's men's basketball team lost in overtime at Copper Mountain the first time the two teams met in Orange Empire Conference play.

The Lasers made sure it wouldn't be a close game this time around.

IVC played its most complete game of the season in a 78-61 Orange Empire Conference win on Friday night at home.

The victory came at a perfect time for the Lasers. Irvine Valley snapped a four-game losing skid and improved its record to 14-12 overall and 3-6 in conference.

Copper Mountain went to 18-8 overall and 5-4 in conference play.

The Lasers got off to a good start, jumping out to a 14-6 lead on a layup by freshman forward Omeed Kargozan with 14:14 left in the first half.

And IVC expanded its lead a few minutes later. A three-point play by Kargozan gave Irvine Valley a 20-7 advantage with 12:19 left.

The Lasers never looked back. Freshman forward Jake Linsky knocked down a three-pointer to put IVC up, 25-11, with 9:43 left in the half.

Irvine Valley went into the halftime with a 39-27 lead. The Lasers shot 50 percent (16 of 32) in the half and turned the ball over just three times.

Copper Mountain didn't get closer than 11 points in the second half and IVC was up by as many as 22 points before winning by 17.

Linsky finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots in 30 minutes to lead IVC. Freshman guard Daniel Chatman came off the bench with 14 points, sophomore guard Daniel Hernandez went for 13 points and contributed six assists and freshman guard Isaiah Mahmud also had 13 points for the Lasers in the win.

IVC shot 47.5 percent (29 of 61) for the game, while Copper Mountain shot just 35.8 percent (24 of 67). The Lasers also finished with 20 assists on their 29 made baskets.

Copper Mountain was paced by Tre'Von Bentley, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds, Isaiah Blackmon, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds and Murshid Randle, who had 12 points.

Irvine Valley plays again next Wednesday in a conference game at Santa Ana at 7 p.m.

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