Men's basketball team holds on to beat Santa Ana, 80-76

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

Irvine Valley's men's basketball team bounced back from a tough, one-point overtime loss at Copper Mountain on Wednesday with a solid victory over Santa Ana in an Orange Empire Conference game at home on Friday night.

The Lasers got out to a big lead and then held on in the closing minutes for a 80-76 win over the Dons.

The win improved Irvine Valley's record to 13-8 overall and 2-2 in conference. Santa Ana's record slipped to 8-8 overall and 1-2 in conference.

Irvine Valley was up 40-28 after the first half after shooting 45.2 percent (14 of 31) from the field and holding Santa Ana to 35.5 percent.

And IVC was up by as many as 18 points in the second half.

A layup by freshman guard Aaron Harris put Irvine Valley ahead, 60-42, with 9:03 to play.

Irvine Valley was up, 67-50, after two more Chatman free throws with 6:24 to go.

And the Lasers held a 69-53 advantage after two free throws by sophomore forward Zane Paddon with 5:41 remaining.

But Santa Ana battled back the rest of the way and made things interesting down the stretch.

IVC still led, 76-63 after a basket by freshman forward Jake Linsky with 2:11 to go.

Santa Ana scored the next five points. Chris Bailey's layup with 1:27 left made it a 76-68 game.

Chatman made two more free throws to push IVC's lead to 78-68 with 1:19 left.

But C' Caran Anderson hit a deep three-pointer to get Santa Ana within 78-71 with 1:11 left and another three-pointer by Anderson after a turnover by IVC made it a 78-74 with 46 seconds to play.

Chatman missed a pair of free throws the next time down and with 37 seconds to play, Cameron High made a layup to get the Dons within 78-76.

Chatman sealed the game for the Lasers the next time down. He sank a floater in the lane with 10.8 seconds left to put IVC up by four points - 80-76.

And that was it.

Chatman finished with 17 points in 17 minutes off the bench for Irvine Valley. He went 12 of 16 from the free throw line.

Linsky ended with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore guard Daniel Hernandez had 13 points, freshman guard Isaiah Mahmud added 11 points and sophomore forward Parker Sims finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for Irvine Valley.

The Lasers were 21 of 26 from the free throw line as a team.

Santa Ana was paced by Anderson with 16 points. High finished with 14 points and three assists and Xavier Gunter chipped in 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Irvine Valley plays again next Wednesday, traveling to Cypress for a conference game at 5 p.m.

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