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.
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.