Honorable Mention Story of the Year - Playoffs for Basketball

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

In leading up to the start of the 2017-18 athletics campaign at Irvine Valley, which starts on Aug. 23 with the women's volleyball team hosting Citrus, the Laser athletic department will count down the top 10 IVC sports stories from the 2016-17 school year.

Honorable mention on the list was the Irvine Valley men's basketball team making the Southern California Regional Playoffs. Irvine Valley won two of its final three games of the regular season to make the postseason and ended up hosting a first-round game against Ventura. It was Irvine Valley's first trip to the playoffs since the 2013-14 season.

IVC finished fourth in the Orange Empire Conference and earned the No. 15 seed in the So. Cal. Regional Playoffs. Five teams from the OEC made the playoffs.

Irvine Valley was moved to the 16 seed to avoid a possible conference match-up in the next round.

The Lasers finished the regular season with a 83-67 win over Orange Coast and a 79-59 loss to Riverside.

Sophomore point guard Zuri Williams poured in a career-high 24 points in IVC's win over OCC at home, freshman forward Lance Coleman II added 20 points and 12 rebounds and freshman guard Daniel Hernandez contributed 17 points.

The Lasers shot just 38.9 percent from the field and 19.0 percent from three-point range in the defeat at Riverside. Coleman had 14 points in the loss.

IVC fell to Ventura in the opening round, 63-56, in February. The Lasers made a late charge, but it wasn't enough.

Irvine Valley was down, 36-17, at the half. And Ventura led, 52-32, with 10:23 left to play.

That is when Irvine Valley finally found some rhythm offensively.

The Lasers went on a 14-2 run that included a three-pointer by sophomore guard Mike Turner and six straight points by Coleman.

A free throw by Coleman made it a 54-45 game with 3:38 left.

Soon after, Coleman buried a three-pointer and Williams made a layup to get Irvine Valley within 56-50 with 1:53 to go.

Coleman found some room and drilled another three-pointer to make it 59-53 and keep IVC alive with 47 seconds to play.

But IVC had to play the foul game the rest of the way and Ventura made four free throws down the stretch to seal it.

Coleman ended up with 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Irvine Valley.

Williams finished with 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals and Turner, sophomore forward Zach Harvey and freshman guard Bekim Djokovic each had seven points for the Lasers.

Irvine valley finished with a record of 14-14 overall.

Coleman, who was named first team all-conference, led the team, averaging 18.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

Williams averaged 8.8 points, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals, sophomore guard Mike Turner averaged 8.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals, sophomore forward Zach Harvey averaged 7.0 points and 5.1 rebounds and sophomore guard Anthony Hernandez added 6.1 points a game.

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