Men's basketball team falls in stunner at Orange Coast

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

After three straight wins, including knocking off the 15th-ranked team in the state last week, Irvine Valley's men's basketball team took a step back Wednesday night.

The Lasers fell late to Orange Coast, 69-67, on the road.

It was Orange Coast's first win in Orange Empire Conference play and overall win since a one-point victory over Ohlone in the Canyons Tournament on Dec. 28, 2019.

It snapped an 11-game losing streak for Coast.

Miles Woods led Orange Coast with 24 points and four steals, while Jonathan Ileleji added 23 points and six rebounds.

For the Lasers, Austin Carter scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Christian Louis added 13 points and Aashad Womack contributed 12 to go along with 10 boards.

OCC trailed for the entire first half, but used a late-half run to pull to within a point at the half, 32-31.

From there, the entire second half was a tightly contested game with lead changes throughout.

IVC pulled ahead by nine midway through the second half, before the Pirates' pressure and timely shooting from Ileleji and Woods brought them back into the game.

Trailing by a point with 19 seconds remaining, Woods was fouled, went to the free-throw line and nailed both attempts, putting OCC up, 68-67.

IVC's next possession resulted in a Carter turnover and a steal by Aaron Arauz and in the final seconds, Myles was again fouled and went to the line, where he made the first free throw, but missed the second, putting the Pirates up, 69-67.

The Lasers rushed down the court with six seconds left and a desperate attempt was nearly ally-ooped into the basket as the horn sounded.

There was brief confusion as the officials huddled to determine the final play.

Finally, the officials determined the shot was made after the horn sounded, giving the Pirates the win.

Irvine Valley returns to action in an important game with playoff implications on Friday, hosting Cypress at 6 p.m.

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