Irvine Valley men's basketball coach Jerry Hernandez expected a grinding game Tuesday afternoon against MiraCosta.
The Lasers had just played three contests in three days last weekend, the last of which was a dramatic and exhausting 83-77 double overtime victory over Cerritos in the championship game of the
Irvine Valley College Classic on Saturday.
Irvine Valley shot just 36.7 percent from the field and got out-rebounded on Tuesday, but still came away with a 57-46 win over MiraCosta.
"I was worried about our legs and how we would function," Hernandez said. "MiraCosta plays tough defense and they had a 7-1 guy. It took us a while to get into any rhythm."
The win improved Irvine Valley's record to 6-0 overall, while MiraCosta fell to 0-5.
Irvine Valley did have a better second half to close out the game.
The Lasers led, 25-20, at halftime.
In the second half, IVC shot 40.0 percent (10 of 25) from the field and made 4 of 13 three-pointers.
Irvine Valley was paced by sophomore guard Shaquille Hunter, who finished with 13 points and four assists.
Freshman forward Chris Porter had his best game of the season so far with nine points and nine rebounds.
Sophomore center Declan Daly was in foul trouble most of the night, but chipped in eight points and four steals.
Sophomore guard Jimmy Golden and freshman center Andrew Bastien each added seven points.
MiraCosta, which shot just 26.8 percent (11 of 41) from the field in the game, was paced by Chuck Smith with 17 points and 7-1 Geoffrey Frid with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Spartans were 19 of 21 from the free throw line in the game.
"It was still a win and we will take it," Hernandez said. "Playing four games in six days is tough so I am proud of the guys for fighting through it."
Irvine Valley plays again Dec. 5-7 in the Monterey Peninsula Tournament.