The Irvine Valley's women's basketball team's season came to an end last Saturday with a tough 72-66 loss at Chaffey in the second round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs.
IVC, the 11th seed, led most of the way and was up with less than a minute left before falling to No. 6 Chaffey.
The Lasers held a one-point lead with less than a minute left, but Chaffey scored the final seven points of the game.
"It is disappointing because we were right there," Irvine Valley coach Julie Hanks said. "I think we got a little tired at the end. But the girls gave it their all. I couldn't ask for anything more."
Irvine Valley was up by as many as 14 points in the first half.
The Lasers were ahead, 20-12, after a three-point play by freshman center Breanna Turner with 8:17 left in the first half.
And IVC took a 30-16 lead on two free throws by freshman guard Kendall Peterson with 4:06 left in the half.
Chaffey closed the half out on a 14-5 run to pull within 35-30.
"We played with six players most of the first half because of foul trouble," Hanks said. "We gave up some points at the end of the half, but we were still in a good spot."
IVC scored the first two baskets of the second half - a jumper by freshman guard Erica Pagkalinawan and jumper by freshman forward Conerie Brennan.
Back-to-back three-pointers by freshman forward Alexis Casillas kept IVC ahead, 45-37, with 16:29 left.
Chaffey took its first lead, though, with a 12-3 run. A layup by Cierra Miles put the Panthers in front, 49-48, with 11:46 to play.
IVC regained the lead on a three-pointer by freshman guard Karli Kato with 10:55 left.
And it was back and forth between the two teams from there.
Irvine Valley got a basket by Casillas and consecutive layups by sophomore forward Taylor Casey and Peterson to take a 59-54 lead with 6:38 left.
And IVC led, 66-65, with 1:47 left after a basket by Turner.
But the Lasers didn't score again.
All seven of Chaffey's final points came in the last 26 seconds.
Down, 66-65, Mary Windom sank a three-pointer with 26 seconds left to give Chaffey the lead for good.
A layup by the Panthers after an IVC turnover and then two free throws ended the game.
In the final minute, Irvine Valley got just one shot off and had five turnovers.
IVC shot an impressive 50 percent (24 of 48) from the field in the game.
But the Lasers were hurt by turnovers throughout the contest. They finished with 42. Chaffey had just 15 turnovers. The Panthers came up with 21 steals.
Casey led the way for the team with 20 points and 12 rebounds in her final game at IVC. Casillas had 10 points and six rebounds and Turner finished with eight points and 15 rebounds.
"It was still a very good season," Hanks said. "We had some injuries this year that set us back. The girls played their hearts out. They wanted to win and wanted to compete and were focused to accomplish that."
Irvine Valley finished with a record of 18-11 and was 7-5 for third place in the Orange Empire Conference
It won its final three games of the regular season to finish in third in the conference and secure a playoff berth. Two of those wins were dominant.
It beat Fullerton, 72-46, on Feb. 13 at Fullerton and then won its final home game over Riverside, 62-35, on Feb. 19.
Casillas was named first team all-Orange Empire Conference and Casey, sophomore guard Jasmine Kennon and Turner were each named to the second team.