Women's Basketball

Irvine Valley Women's Basketball Tournament begins Thursday

Irvine Valley Women's Basketball Tournament begins Thursday

The 2018 Irvine Valley Women's Basketball Tournament starts on Thursday with four games at IVC.

The Lasers, which were ranked No. 7 in the preseason California Community College Women's Basketball Association South Region State Poll, are the defending champions.

They defeated Long Beach City, 66-64, in the title game a year ago behind standout sophomore Kasey Smit, who had 19 points and 19 rebounds in the final.

The eight-team, 11-game tournament begins at 2 p.m. on Thursday with first-round action.

Santa Monica takes on College of the Desert in the opening game of the event.

Rio Hondo plays El Camino at 4 p.m., Grossmont takes on Irvine Valley at 6 p.m. and Cuesta faces Barstow at 8 p.m. to wrap up the first day.

Four games follow on Friday at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. and the final three games of the tournament are on Saturday. The championship game is on Saturday at 4 p.m.

This is the 14th year of the event and it features two teams that were ranked in the CCCWBCA South Region Preseason Poll.

They are Irvine Valley as mentioned at No. 7 and El Camino at No. 12.

The newest rankings for the state by the coaches' association came out Tuesday and has El Camino ranked No. 16 and Rio Hondo No. 17 in the state.

In So. Cal., El Camino is No. 6, Rio Hondo is No. 8 and Cuesta and Irvine Valley are tied for 15th.

IVC has been hurt by playing just three games so far this year. The Lasers were scheduled to play at Glendale last week, but that game was postponed and will be made up at a later date.

Irvine Valley has record of 2-1, having won two of three games in the Saddleback Tournament two weeks ago.

Sophomore guard Lexi Vail is averaging 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game so far. Freshman center Zoe Stachowski averages 10.7 points and 12.0 rebounds. Freshman guard Megan Herrera averages 11.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 4.7 steals per game. Herrera was named all-tournament at the Lady Gaucho Classic at Saddleback.

Freshman guard Anai Washington is also averaging 10.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists and sophomore forward Ryane Bradbury is chipping in 9.0 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.7 steals a game for IVC.

The other top teams include El Camino, which has a record of 6-2 and is coming off winning the Cypress Tournament last weekend.

Saliahah Bey was named tourney MVP after scoring 18 points in El Camino's 62-60 win over Cypress in the final.

She is averaging 19.9 points and 9.6 rebounds on the year.

Other teams to keep an eye on are Cuesta with a record of 7-2 and Rio Hondo with a record of 6-2 overall.

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