Women's basketball team knocked into 3rd-place game of tourney

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

Irvine Valley's women's basketball team will be playing in the third-place game of the Irvine Valley Tournament on Saturday.

The Lasers battled in the first half of a semifinal contest of the tourney Friday night, but were out-played in the second half and fell to El Camino, 63-46.

El Camino, which beat IVC for the second time in a week, will face Long Beach City in the championship game of the tournament on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Irvine Valley will take on Orange Empire Conference rival Orange Coast on Saturday in the third-place game at 2 p.m.

The Lasers, who saw their record slip to 5-4, stayed right with El Camino in the first half.

IVC was down, 12-9, after the first quarter, but out-scored El Camino, 15-12, in the second quarter to send the game into the break knotted up, 24-24.

The Lasers took a 18-15 lead after a jumper by sophomore guard Aaleah Brown and then a three-point play by freshman guard Serena Saba with 5:14 to play in the half.

And IVC led, 22-19 after back-to-back baskets by freshman guard Elizabeth Garcia and freshman forward Taylor Hall with 2:08 left to go.

But Kayla Bibb, who had a big night for El Camino, came right back with a three-point play of her own to tie the score, 22-22, with 1:40 to play in the half.

Garcia made a layup with 50 seconds left to give IVC a two-point lead. Bibb's layup at the halftime buzzer tied the score at 24-24.

El Camino picked up the pace in the second half. The Warriors scored the first nine points of the half on consecutive three-pointers by Kristy Takahashi and Kasey Takahashi and a layup by Bibb to go up, 33-24.

Irvine Valley got back to within 34-31 on a three-point play by sophomore forward Kydell Pearson and a free throw by freshman guard Mary Dishoian with 4:49 left in the quarter.

But El Camino scored the next seven points in a row capped by a layup by Elise Allison to make it a 41-31 game with 3:01 left in the quarter.

IVC closed the quarter strong, going on a 8-3 run. A layup by Saba with eight seconds left pulled IVC to within 44-39 heading into the fourth quarter.

El Camino opened the fourth quarter on a 17-4 run to put the game away.

A three-pointer by Noa Hunter gave El Camino a 54-43 advantage with 4:33 left in the contest.

And a three-pointer by Kasey Takahashi and then a layup by Meghan Peneuta made it 61-43 with 1:48 to play.

Irvine Valley ended up being out-scored, 19-7, in the fourth quarter.

Bibb finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks to pace El Camino. Kasey Takahashi added 16 points and four steals and Allison had seven points and four rebounds for the Warriors, who improved their record to 4-3 overall.

Pearson was IVC's only player in double figures, finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds. Garcia had eight points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals and freshman forward Taylor Hall finished with nine rebounds to go along with four points.

Irvine Valley out-rebounded El Camino, 45-30, including grabbing 20 offensive boards.

But the Lasers shot just 34.5 percent (20 of 58) and from the field and were 0 for 12 on three-point attempts.