Women's basketball team on to Irvine Valley Tournament final

Courtesy Toni Lavacot
Courtesy Toni Lavacot

Irvine Valley's women's basketball team is back in the championship game of its own tournament.

The Lasers, who lost in the semifinal a year ago and had to settle for third place, moved on to the title game with a dominant 55-37 semifinal victory over Chaffey on Friday night.

IVC improved its record to 8-1 overall.

Irvine Valley, ranked No. 5 in the state, will take on No. 9 Pasadena City in the championship final of the Irvine Valley Tournament on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Pasadena City held on to beat rival Long Beach City, 81-73, in the other semifinal.

Irvine Valley trailed, 10-8, with 9:26 left in the first half, but out-scored Chaffey, 17-2, the rest of the half.

Sophomore forward Vanessa Rea scored on a layup to put IVC in front, 23-10.

And then freshman guard Jordan Coleman made a layup after a steal and then assist by freshman forward Samantha Perez with 1:19 left in the half to give Irvine Valley a 25-10 lead.

The Lasers helped hold Chaffey to 18.2 percent shooting from the floor in the first half.

The Lasers cruised in the second half. They led by as many as 26 points at 40-24 with 13:28 left after a layup by freshman guard Erika Mercado.

For the game, Irvine Valley shot just 32.3 percent (20 of 62) from the field, but it did have 17 assists on 20 made baskets.

IVC helped force 27 turnovers by Chaffey.

Chaffey shot 27.7 percent (13 of 47) for the game. The Panthers, who will face Long Beach City in the third-place game on Saturday at 2 p.m., were paced by Denisha Spivey, who had 13 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Chelsea Waddy Blow had nine points and Haley McKinley finished with nine points and eight rebounds for Chaffey, which saw its record slip to 1-8.

The Lasers had two players score in double figures. They were freshman guard Tara Casey with 12 points and sophomore forward Conerie Brennan with 11 points. Brennan added five rebounds.

Coleman finished with nine points and three assists and Mercado added five points and four assists. IVC sophomore center Breanna Turner had four points, eight rebounds and four steals in the game.

Irvine Valley Women's Tournament

Second-day results (Dec. 12)

Consolation semifinal - Rio Hondo def. Orange Coast, 50-46

Consolation semifinal - El Camino def. El-Camino Compton, 71-44

Championship semifinal - Pasadena City def. Long Beach City, 81-73

Championship semifinal - Irvine Valley def. Chaffey, 55-37

Final-day schedule (Dec. 13)

Consolation final - Rio Hondo vs. El Camino at 12 p.m.

Third-place game - Long Beach City vs. Chaffey at 2 p.m.

Championship final - Pasadena City vs. Irvine Valley at 4 p.m.