Women's Basketball

Women's basketball team ready for regional final on Saturday

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

Irvine Valley's women's basketball team will play for a trip to the state tournament on Saturday night at Mt. San Antonio in a Southern California Regional Playoff final game.

The Lasers, seeded No. 10, take on No. 2 Mt. SAC at 7 p.m. in Walnut.

Mt. SAC is the two-time defending state champion and has a record of 24-7 overall this year.

Irvine Valley is looking for its first trip to the state tournament since the 1998-99 season, which was coach Julie Hanks' first year as the head coach at IVC.

The squad has a record of 25-4 overall.

Irvine Valley is coming off a 70-55 win over East Los Angeles in the second round of the regional playoffs last Friday night at home.

The Lasers led, 34-24, at the half and then used a strong third quarter to take the game over.

IVC out-scored the Huskies, 26-16, in the third quarter to take a 60-40 lead.

Sophomore forward Kasey Smit, who was named the Orange Empire Conference most valuable player last 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 freshman guard Cydnie Danan chipped in eight points.

On the season, Smit is averaging 18.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.2 steals and 2.1 blocks per game. She has 20 double-doubles on the year and is also shooting 47.6 percent from the floor..

Smit was also named the CCCSIA female athlete of the month for January after finishing the month averaging 24.1 points, 14.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.9 blocks a game

Garcia, who was named first team all-conference, is averaging 10.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.6 steals.

Vail, a second-team, all-conference performer, averages 10.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists and Warren, another second-team, all-conference player, averages 10.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.

Mt. SAC beat an Orange Empire Conference team in the second round, taking down Riverside,  87-53, at home last Saturday. Mt. SAC led, 52-24, at the half.

Four of the five Mountie starters scored in double figures for the game. Deja Siaki came off the bench to lead the team in scoring. She had 22 points and four assists.

Tianna Burrell finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists, Dominique McLaughlin had 14 points, six rebounds and four assists, Tiana Douglass contributed 12 points and five rebounds and Donnae Vermillion added 10 points and eight rebounds.

The Mounties out-rebounded the Tigers 50-37, connected for eight 3-pointers, scored 20 points off of RCC turnovers and had 30 bench points.

Vermillion averages 16.4 points 9.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists, McLaughlin is averaging 14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists and Siaki averages 11.4 points for the Mounties on the year.

The winner of the game will travel to the eight-team CCCAA Women's Basketball Championship Tournament in Ventura March 8-11.

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