Men's basketball team battles, but falls to Ventura in classic

Men's basketball team battles, but falls to Ventura in classic

Irvine Valley's men's basketball team came up short in its attempt to reach the championship game of its own tournament.

The Lasers battled, but fell to Ventura, 74-69, in a semifinal game of the Irvine Valley Classic on Friday night.

Irvine Valley will take on American River in the third-place game at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Ventura plays Cerritos, who routed American River, 102-62, in another semifinal of the tournament on Friday. The championship game is at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

IVC played well and was up by as many as seven points in the first half.

But Ventura went into the break ahead, 33-31.

The Lasers were within striking distance of Ventura, which was ranked 15th in Southern California in the CCCMBCA preseason poll, for most of the second half.

But Ventura started to pull away later in the second half. The Pirates took a 66-55 lead with 6:40 to play on a basket by John Williams.

IVC chipped away behind a three-pointer by freshman guard Geoff Salas and free throws by freshman forwards Jake Linsky and Cameron Griffin.

Griffin's pair of free throws got IVC within 71-67 with 1:00 left, but the Lasers couldn't get any closer.

The Pirates had a little too much on the night. Ventura shot 56.6 percent (30 of 53) from the field for the game and 45.5 percent (5 of 11) from three-point range.

Darrell Handy-Johnson led Ventura with 17 points and six rebounds. Jacob Alonso chipped in 14 points, six rebounds, nine assists and four steals and Isiah Reyes had 14 points, three assists and three steals for Ventura in the victory.

Irvine Valley was paced by Griffin, who finished with 27 points and four rebounds. Linsky added 18 points, six rebounds and three steals in a game-high 34 minutes and Salas had six points for the Lasers in the defeat.

Saturday, Nov. 18 Schedule

Canyons vs. Long Beach City (consolation final) 12 p.m.

American River vs. Irvine Valley (third-place game) 2 p.m.

Cerritos vs. Ventura (championship) 4 p.m.

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