Irvine Valley's men's basketball team got a strong effort from sophomores Jalen Hall, Jimmy Golden and Ronnie Harris in a tough 65-60 win over Cerritos Friday night in the championship semifinals of the Irvine Valley Classic.
With the win, the Lasers moved into the tournament final for the second year in a row.
Irvine Valley will play College of the Canyons in the championship game at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Canyons edged Long Beach City, 59-57, in the other championship semifinal contest on Friday.
Hall had his best game of the season so far and one of the top performances in his two years at Irvine Valley on Friday.
He finished with 18 points and three assists in 32 minutes.
Golden ended with 12 points and four rebounds and Harris had 11 points, five rebounds and three assists for IVC, which improved its record to 2-1 overall.
Sophomore center Andrew Bastien chipped in eight points and eight rebounds for the Lasers.
Cerritos was led by Micah Winn, who had 20 points, six rebounds and two steals. Anthony Lefeau came off the bench with nine points and seven rebounds and Christian Perez had eight points and five rebounds for the Falcons, who saw their record slip to 1-2 on the year.
Irvine Valley led, 35-31, at the half and increased its lead early in the second half.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Golden put Irvine Valley ahead, 49-38, with 15:44 to play.
Cerritos cut its deficit 53-48 on a lay-up by Jeff Gonzalez with 9:04 left.
But the Lasers moved back in front by double digits at 59-49 on a three-pointer by Hall with 6:08 to play and then went ahead, 61-49, on a basket by Harris with 5:49 left.
Cerritos didn't get closer than four points the rest of the way. And that came with seven seconds to go at 64-60 when Tyler Payne drove for a lay-up.
Both teams made 22 field goals in the contest.
Irvine Valley shot 48.9 percent (22 of 45) from the field for the game, while Cerritos shot 43.1 percent (22 of 51).
IVC made two more three pointers and three more free throws.
20th Annual Irvine Valley Classic
Second-round results (Nov. 21)
Ventura def. Cuyamaca, 65-64 (consolation semis)
Santa Monica def. Imperial Valley, 98-77 (consolation semis)
Canyons def. Long Beach City, 59-57 (championship semis)
Irvine Valley def. Cerritos, 65-60 (championship semis)
Final-day schedule (Nov. 22)
Ventura vs. Santa Monica at 12 p.m. (consolation final)
Long Beach City vs. Cerritos at 2 p.m. (third-place game)
Canyons vs. Irvine Valley at 4 p.m. (championship final)