Women's basketball team opens conference hosting Saddleback

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

Irvine Valley opens the Orange Empire Conference portion of its schedule with a home game on Wednesday night against district rival Saddleback at 7 p.m.

The game kicks off the annual President's Cup basketball challenge between the two schools.

Irvine Valley has a record of 11-3 and was ranked No. 9 in the state and fourth in Southern California in coaches polls last week.

The Lasers won two of three games and captured the consolation title at the Ventura Tournament last week.

IVC beat Rio Hondo, 81-42, in the consolation final on Saturday.

Irvine Valley led, 20-5, after the first quarter and, 41-13, at the half.

Sophomore forward Kiara Warren had 15 points and seven rebounds, sophomore forward Jenna Rodriguez finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and three steals and freshman guard Cydnie Danan and sophomore forward Kasey Smit each contributed 10 points in the win. Smit also had eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

IVC out-rebounded Rio Hondo, 54-25, and scored 50 points in the paint.

Irvine Valley has won the consolation titles at the Pasadena, Saddleback and Ventura tournaments and captured its own Irvine Valley tournament title during its pre-conference schedule.

IVC's three losses have all come to teams ranked in the state - Sequoias, Mt. San Jacinto and LA Valley.

On the season, Smit averages 12.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.3 steals and 2.0 blocks per game. Freshman guard Lexi Vail averages 10.4 points and 3.0 assists, Warren is averaging 10.1 points and 6.1 rebounds, sophomore guard Elizabeth Garcia is averaging 9.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists and Danan averages 7.3 points and 3.5 assists for IVC.

Saddleback has a record of 3-10 overall heading into the conference opener.

The Gauchos won one of three games at a tournament at East LA last week, beating Oxnard, 55-47, before falling to Mission and College of the Canyons.

In the 78-58 defeat to Canyons last Friday, Kayla De Leon had 20 points and Raven Herrington finished with 14 points and six rebounds.

On the season, De Leon leads the way, averaging 16.1 points, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Bree Shephard averages 14.3 points and 3.5 assists and Herrington averages 10.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game for Saddleback.

After tonight's opener, Irvine Valley will return home on Friday to take on Fullerton at 6 p.m.