Men's basketball team nearly knocks off No. 3 San Diego City

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

Irvine Valley's men's basketball team gave the third-ranked team in the state all it could handle in an opening-round game of the Bill Brummel Classic on Thursday at Saddleback.

Irvine Valley fell, 82-80, but had a chance to win it at the end. After San Diego City missed two free throws with nine seconds to play. IVC sophomore forward Cameron Griffin's three-point attempt was off the mark at the buzzer.

The Lasers out-scored San Diego City, which is the defending state champion, 44-39, in the second half to give itself a shot at the upset.

IVC was paced by sophomore forward Jake Linsky, who finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds and five assists. He made 8 of 10 shots from the field.

Freshman guard Aaron Harris added 16 points, four rebounds and five assists. He shot a productive 7 of 11 from the field.

Griffin had 12 points, nine rebounds and two assists and sophomore forward Zane Paddon and freshman guard Kevin Olsen each came off the bench with eight points. Olsen also had five rebounds.

The Lasers shot 53.1 percent (34 of 64) from the field as a team in the game and took care of the ball with just 13 turnovers in the contest. They also out-rebounded San Diego City, 43-34.

But IVC hurt itself at the line going just 10 of 19 (52.6 percent) and made only 2 of 9 three-point attempts.

San Diego City, which improved to 14-2 overall, was led by Wonder Smith's 24 points. Robert McCoy had 18 points and Ethan Esposito chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds.

It was the Knights' seventh win in a row.

Irvine Valley, which had its record slip to 8-6, will take on Long Beach City in a consolation game in the tournament on Friday at 1 p.m.

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