Irvine Valley's women's basketball team players and coaches know it will be tough playing at Mt. San Jacinto in the semifinals of the Southern California Regional Playoffs Wednesday night.
Mt. San Jacinto is the third seed, has a record of 27-2 and beat Irvine Valley, 72-55, in December in the Chaffey Tournament.
But the Lasers also had the odds against them in the second round at No. 6 Pasadena City last Saturday. PCC hadn't lost in 18 straight home playoff games.
Irvine Valley came away with a 66-53 victory behind 18 points from sophomore guard Dominique Santos.
Irvine Valley, which is the 11th seed, takes a record of 21-10 into Wednesday night's 7 p.m. contest in San Jacinto.
The Lasers are led by first team all-Orange Empire Conference players Amber Wharton and Shomari McCorkle.
Wharton, a sophomore point guard, is averaging 10.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game. McCorkle, a sophomore forward, averages 10.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.
Santos is averaging 8.8 points and leads the team in three-pointers made and second-team all-conference player Jasmine Kennon, a freshman guard, is averaging 8.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
Freshman center Taylor Casey averages 7.1 points and 7.4 rebounds a game and freshman guard Kiara King is averaging 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds a game for the Lasers.
Irvine Valley took second in the Orange Empire Conference with a 9-3 record behind Cypress. The Lasers are the lone team left from the conference in the playoffs.
IVC is riding a six-game win streak.
Mt. San Jacinto defeated Cuesta, 72-57, at home in the second round to advance to Wednesday.
Mt. San Jacinto trailed by as many as 10 points midway through the first half, before rallying to take a 31-26 lead into halftime. The Eagles led by as many as 18 points in the second half on their way to the win.
Tina Fantroy led MSJC with 28 points, while Kerah Natividad added 22 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Faith Fantroy contributed 10 assists, while Destiny Melton pulled down 13 rebounds for Mt. San Jacinto.
Tina Fantroy paces Mt. San Jacinto in scoring on the season, averaging 21.4 points per game. She also averages 7.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.4 steals a game.
Natividad averages 13.2 points and 10.5 rebounds, Destiny Melton averages 9.7 points and 9.1 rebounds, Faith Fantroy averages 7.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game.
Gina Fernandez averages 6.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game and Cora Lopez averages 5.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Mt. San Jacinto won the Foothill conference this season with a record of 13-1, finishing ahead of such teams as San Bernradino Valley and Chaffey.
Mt. San Jacinto's two losses this season were to Fresno City, 88-77, in December at the Fresno tournament and to San Bernardino Valley, 59-48, in a conference game.
The Eagles have won 12 straight games since losing to San Bernardino Valley on Jan. 19.
The winner of Wednesday night's Irvine Valley and Mt. San Jacinto game moves on to the regional final on Saturday, March 9 against the winner of No. 10 Moorpark and No. 15 Palomar.
And the winner of the regional final advances to the final four and the state tournament at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento the following weekend.