For the second straight year, the Irvine Valley men's basketball team is taking on Mt. San Antonio in the CCCAA Southern Regional Playoffs.
Last year, IVC earned a dramatic 72-71 overtime victory at home in the regional finals to move on to the state tournament. This year, Irvine Valley is at Mt. SAC Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. in the regional semifinals.
Mt. SAC is this year's No. 1 seed in the region. The Mounties, who won the South Coast North Division, have a record of 23-5 overall. Mt. SAC started the playoffs with an easy 86-68 win over Long Beach City last Saturday night at home.
Sophomore guard Antonio Biglow finished with 29 points and nine assists. Freshman guard Ervin Ware added 20 points and sophomore forward Kaimyn Pruitt had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Mt. SAC shot 50 percent (31 of 62) for the game and out-rebounded Long Beach City, 48-38. Mt. SAC won despite having 26 turnovers. Biglow is up for state player of the year honors. He is ranked fourth in the state in scoring at 22.7 points per game. Biglow is also averaging 4.7 assists and 2.8 steals per game.
Sophomore forward Elijah York averages 11.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game and Ware is averaging 8.8 points 4.4 assists. Tempo will be a key. Mt. SAC is averaging 84.4 points per game. Irvine Valley gives up just 62.3 points a game.
The two teams have already met once this season with Irvine Valley defeating Mt. SAC, 81-71, in the semifinals of the Bill Brummel Tournament at Saddleback last December. Biglow scored 27 points and Ware had 16 points.
Irvine Valley was led by sophomore forward Joe Eberhard, who had a season-high 26 points. Sophomore forward Travis Fulton added 19 points and eigh rebounds, freshman guard Ramon Mejia finished with 14 points and freshman guard Jose Vasquez came off the bench with 10 points.
Irvine Valley placed third in the Orange Empire Conference and has a record of 22-7 overall. IVC started the playoffs with a 63-50 win over San Bernardino Valley at home last Friday night. IVC held San Bernardino Valley to its lowest point total this season.
Fulton had 19 points and 11 rebounds and freshman guard Kalob Hatcher added 13 points for the Lasers.
IVC is paced by Fulton, who is averaging 16.6 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. Eberhard averages 11.9 points and 6.3 rebounds, Hatcher is averaging 9.4 points and 4.1 assists and Mejia is averaging 9.2 points. IVC scores 72.7 points per game.
The winner of Wednesday's game will move on to the regional final on Saturday and take on the No. 5 Chaffey-No. 4 Citrus winner. Playoff Bracket