Women's Basketball

Women's basketball team takes down East LA in playoff opener

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

Irvine Valley's women's basketball team used a strong second half to pull away from and beat East Los Angeles, 70-55, in a second-round game of the CCCAA Southern California Regional Playoffs on Friday night at home.

The Lasers, seeded No. 7, and No. 10 East LA each earned a bye in the opening round.

Irvine Valley (25-4) moves on to the regional finals and will play the winner of No. 15 Riverside and No. 2 Mt. San Antonio. That second-round contest will be played on Saturday night at Mt. SAC.

IVC trailed only once on Friday night and that was after East LA scored the first two points of the game.

The Lasers scored the next six, capped by a layup by freshman guard Cydnie Danan.

Irvine Valley was on its way from there.

The Lasers led, 15-11, at the end of the first quarter. The Huskies tied the game at 15 and were within 19-18 after a layup by Stevi Hall with 6:10 left in the first half.

But Irvine Valley closed the half out on a 15-6 run to take control.

A three-pointer by Danan put Irvine Valley ahead, 32-24, with 1:58 left and then sophomore forward Kasey Smit made a short jumper to give IVC a 34-24 advantage with 1:32 to go.

Irvine Valley was up, 34-24, at the half.

The Lasers put the game away in the third quarter, out-scoring East LA, 26-16.

Irvine Valley went on a 15-8 run to open up the quarter. A basket by Smit gave the Lasers a 49-32 lead with 5:03 to play in the period.

The Lasers took their largest lead of the game at 60-40 with four seconds left in the third quarter when Smit knocked a three-pointer off an assist by sophomore guard Elizabeth Garcia.

IVC cruised to the win in the fourth quarter.

East LA never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

Smit, who was named the Orange Empire Conference most valuable player earlier this week, led the way for Irvine Valley. She had 24 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and five steals in 38 minutes.

Freshman guard Lexi Vail added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists, sophomore guard Elizabeth Garcia ended with 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, sophomore forward Kiara Warren had 10 points, five rebounds and three steals and Danan chipped in eight points.

East LA, which finished its year with a record of 18-11 overall, got 19 points and nine rebounds from Dominique Godbolt and 15 points and nine rebounds from Monica Garcia.

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