Irvine Valley College Classic
Dates: November 16-18
Teams: Canyons (3-2), (6) Cerritos (3-0), Imperial Valley (1-5), American River (1-2), Cuyamaca (0-3), Irvine Valley (3-1), Long Beach (3-2), Ventura (4-2).
Matchups: The Irvine Valley College Classic will begin on Thursday as seven Southern California teams and one Northern California team will participate in the three day event. 6th ranked Cerritos in the only ranked team in our Signal The Light Basketball rankings and appear to be the favorite at the tournament.
In first round action, Canyons (3-2) will face off against 6th ranked Cerritos. The 6th ranked Falcons are back in action after having the weekend off after winning the Miramar Tournament in the first weekend of the season. The Falcons have three players averaging in double figures as Jason Carter leads the team in scoring averaging 16.3 points per contest. Keshaun Mack (14.3 points) and Demetrius Thomas (11.3 points) are both in double figures for Cerritos. Meanwhile, Canyons is coming off a two game winning streak as the Cougars won the consolation championship at the Fullerton Tournament last weekend. Michael Kalu leads the Cougars in scoring as the sophomore is averaging 17.0 points and 5.4 rebounds this season. Jacob Lilley 10.4 points and Jude Agbasi (11.4 points) have been bright spots for the Cougars through five games. It should be a very interesting first round match up for both teams on Thursday afternoon.
In the second game of the first round, Imperial Valley (1-5) will take on American River (1-2). American River lost two straight games to end the Solano Tournament and will look to make a better showing in Southern California. Tommy Edwards had a solid weekend for the Beavers as he averaged 20.3 points per contest over the weekend. Jermaine Henderson (11.7 points) and Baidi Kamagate (11.3 points) are two other players averaging in double figures for American River through three games. On the other side of the court, Imperial Valley will look to end their four game losing skid with a first round victory. After picking up a win against Santa Monica, the Arabs have lost four straight including two last weekend at the Victor Valley Tournament as Imperial Valley lost to Victor Valley and Barstow. Perry Cromwell has been solid for the Arabs as the sophomore is averaging 12.0 a game and is the only Imperial Valley player averaging in double figures.
In the third match up of the first round, tournament host Irvine Valley (3-1) will face winless Cuyamaca (0-3) for a place into the semi finals. Irvine Valley has won two straight games and the Lasers picked up a home victory against Southwestern last week. Jake Linsky is off to a solid start as the freshman is averaging 15.0 points and 13.0 rebounds so far this season. Cameron Griffin is averaging 11.5 points and sophomore guard Daniel Hernandez is averaging 12.0 points and 3.3 assists for the Lasers. Cuyamaca will look to pick up thier first win of the season as the Coyotes have lost three straight to start the season. Abe Ali has been solid for Cuyamaca as the freshman will look to have a stand out game for the Coyotes against Irvine Valley.
The final game of the day will be between Long Beach (3-2) against Ventura (4-2). After losing their first two games of the season, Long Beach has won three straight games and go into the first round against a solid Ventura team. William English (20.8 points) and Jeremiah Sadler (18.8 points) have had solid starts to the young season for the Vikings. Matthew Wooten (11.6 points) and Jamiu Akinbile (10.0 points) are both in double figures for the Vikings this season through five games. Ventura picked up another two wins last weekend at the Ohlone Tournament in Northern California. The Pirates have lost in the first round in two consecutive tournaments and will look to change that fortune despite winning the consolation title at both tournaments. Isiah Reyes (18.8 points), Jacob Alonzo (15.5 points), and John Williams (13.3 points) have been the scoring threats this season for Ventura. The Pirates will look to pick up a victory over Long Beach and face the winner/lose of Irvine and Cuyamaca in Friday in day two action.