Men's basketball team beats Cerritos to win its own tourney

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

Irvine Valley's men's basketball team had three solid wins to start the 2019-20 season, but the Lasers earned their best yet Friday night in the championship game of the 25th Annual San Juan Hills Toyota Classic.

Irvine Valley knocked off Cerritos, 63-59, to improve its record to 4-0 overall.

It is the first time IVC has been 4-0 to start a campaign since the 2013-14 season. That squad won 12 straight and ended up with a 25-5 record.

Irvine Valley also captured its own IVC tournament for the first time since 2015.

Sophomore forward Austin Carter was named the tournament most valuable player after finishing with 12 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore wing Christian Louis was named all-tournament after scoring 13 points and freshman guard JT Robinson, who had a big night in the semifinals, was also named all-tournament after ending with nine points.

Jacob Washington (15 points and seven rebounds) and Jahlen Jack (14 points) were picked to the all-tournament team for Cerritos.

It was a back and forth game most of the night.

Cerritos took a 28-26 lead into halftime.

But Irvine Valley started strong in the second half.

The Lasers led, 36-35, and then went on a 12-3 run to create some separation.

A free throw by sophomore guard Ricky Robinson put the Lasers ahead, 48-38, with 6:01 left to play.

Cerritos scored five in a row after that. Washington's layup pulled the Falcons to with 48-43 with 4:30 left to play.

And it was a 53-49 game after a layup by Jack with 2:32 to go.

Irvine Valley answered with a three-pointer by freshman forward Jesse Steins to push its lead to 56-49 with 2:20 left.

Washington kept Cerritos close at 59-55 with a jumper.

Louis made one of two free throws to put Irvine Valley in front, 60-55, with 31 seconds to play.

And JT Robinson added a free throw with 21 seconds left to give Irvine Valley a 61-55 advantage.

Jack made a bucket to pull Cerritos to within 61-57 with 21 seconds to go.

IVC then turned the ball over on the inbounds play and Jack made another layup to make it a two-point game with nine seconds to play.

Irvine Valley turned it over again trying to inbound the ball, but Cerritos handed the ball right back with a turnover of its own.

Freshman guard Devin Owens sank two free throws for Irvine Valley to make it a four-point game and seal the win.

Irvine Valley shot 42.6 percent (20 of 47) from the field in the win, while Cerritos managed just 36.1 percent (22 of 61).

Ricky Robinson and Owens each added eight points for IVC in the victory.

Irvine Valley plays again next Wednesday at Miramar at 6 p.m.

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