18th Annual Irvine Valley Classic men's basketball tournament starts Thursday   

Tags: Athletics, IVCEvents, Basketball-Men

It is going to be hard to top the 2011 Irvine Valley College Classic men's basketball tournament.

But the eight teams will try their best at the 18th annual event, which starts Thursday at IVC.

There will be 11 games over three days with four on Thursday, four on Friday and three on Saturday.

Games start at 2 p.m. on Thursday, 1 p.m. on Friday and noon on Saturday. The championship game is at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Irvine Valley opens the event on Thursday at 6 p.m. against Long Beach City College.

The Lasers opened the season with a 64-59 win at Southwestern in San Diego last Friday night.

Irvine Valley was led by sophomore forwards Michael Bolden and Zach Mills, who each finished with 12 points. Mills had 10 of his 12 points in the second half.

Sophomore guard Steele Sylte added a career-high 11 points. He made three three-pointers. In all, 10 players scored for the Lasers.

Freshman guard Brandon Ruffin chipped in seven points and freshman guard Shaq Hunter and freshman forward Austin Priest each contributed five points.

This year's tournament's top team based on rankings is Ventura, who came into the season ranked No. 9 in the state and fourth in Southern California.

Ventura, which is off to a 3-0 start, won its own tournament last weekend, knocking off No. 4 Saddleback and No. 18 Antelope Valley in the process.

College of the Canyons is 2-0 and captured its Clash at Canyons tournament last weekend.

Irvine Valley was ranked No. 11 in Southern California and Imperial Valley, which is off to an 0-2 start, was ranked No. 12 in So. Cal entering the season.

Last year's IVC Classic featured several overtime games, including in the finale where Cerritos beat Ventura, 77-76, in two overtimes.

Ventura defeated Santa Monica, 125-120, in another overtime game. Santa Monica's Lee Lark put up 42 points in that contest.

Irvine Valley won the consolation title after losing to Cerritos in an opening-round game in overtime.

Posted by  Brent Shaver  on  11/14/2012
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