Both El Dorado and Ponderosa won one, lost one in their first two games of the Gold Dust Tournament. The Cougars, pulling a double shift due to a school’s absence, fell 73-42 to Del Oro (winner’s bracket) but came back later Friday night to defeat Eltham 76-60.
The Bruins opened a day earlier by toppling South Lake Tahoe 74-57. Friday, Ponderosa lost an entertaining game to Amador Valley 55-50 to set up Saturday’s third place game with El Dorado.
Turnovers, most via the entry pass, hurt the Cougars against Del Oro as did Golden Eagle second-chance points. Despite a 10-point spark from Cam Battersby off the bench, El Dorado couldn’t keep pace. The Cougars were led by Aaron Line with 14 points.
Eltham, all the way from Melbourne, Australia, couldn’t contain Matt Smith who pumped in 25 points, 15 from beyond the arc. Line added 17 points, Tommy Williams had nine and Soren Shepherd scored eight points.
The Bruns’ strategy against Amador Valley was to trade baskets for three throws late in the fourth quarter as Josh Bist, Matt Bejsovec and Marcus Forbes all hit late threes. Unfortunately, the Dons converted 8-of-9 from the line down the stretch.
Amador Valley’s 10-1 run to open the last quarter pushed its lead to 16 before Ponderosa slowly chipped away as Bist and Marty Padilla each scored six points. The closest the Bruins came was five with 1.20 left and again at Forbes’ triple at the buzzer.
Chris Snyder, saddled with foul trouble, led Ponderosa with 13 points; Padilla and Bist added eight apiece and Bejsovec chipped in six.
Amador Valley defeated Del Oro 52-51 Saturday wo win the Gold Dust title.