Irvine Valley's men's basketball team started its 2017-18 season with a hard-fought 73-69 win in overtime over Santa Monica in the Don Gehler Memorial Tournament at Miramar College on Thursday night.
The win advanced the Lasers on to the semifinals where they will take on host Miramar at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Irvine Valley led, 40-33, at the half. And the Lasers started the second half on a 10-2 run.
A three-pointer by freshman forward Jake Linsky gave IVC a 50-35 lead with 16:38 left in the game.
But Santa Monica chipped away at the lead the rest of regulation.
The Corsairs took a 65-64 advantage on a three-pointer by Jhamad Norwood with 1:39 left.
Irvine Valley went back in front, 66-65, with 1:17 left on an offensive rebound and putback by freshman forward Cameron Griffin.
Santa Monica responded with a basket by Michael Fry with 36 seconds to play to take a 67-66 lead.
With 31 seconds left, IVC sophomore guard Daniel Hernandez was fouled. He made the first free throw and missed the second to tie the score at 67.
Norwood missed a three-pointer with 14 seconds to play and freshman guard Geoff Salas grabbed the rebound.
Hernandez missed a jumper at the buzzer for IVC.
Irvine Valley scored first in overtime, getting a layup by Linsky off a pass from sophomore forward Parker Sims and the Lasers never looked back.
Griffin followed with a layup to make it a 71-67 game with 4:21 left.
Irvine Valley out-scored Santa Monica, 6-2, in overtime for the win.
Griffin and Linsky led the way for IVC. Griffin finished with 22 points, five rebounds and two steals, while Linsky had 20 points, 15 rebounds and three steals.
Hernandez chipped in 13 points and three steals and Salas had eight points and five rebounds for the Lasers.
Freshman guard Devon Lamar had five points off the bench for Irvine Valley.
The Lasers out-rebounded Santa Monica, 47-42, and shot 60.0 percent (9 of 15) from three-point range, but turnovers (22) and free throw shooting (53.8 percent) are areas that need to be cleaned up by Irvine Valley.