Behind six threes and four players in double figures, the Amador Valley basketball team atoned for last year’s loss to El Dorado in the Gold Dust Tournament with a 64-49 victory Friday night in the second round of action at El Dorado.
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The Cougars had the early lead for all of four minutes in the first period behind Joe Visman’s opening layup and his reverse, followed by David Cochran’s basket on an assist from Travis Reidel. But on the strength of two threes from Jacob Contrearas and Nate Johansen sandwiched around Johansen’s jumper, El Dorado fell behind 11-8 and never led again.
Amador Valley took away El Dorado’s success running the back door and capitalized on seven Cougar turnovers in the period to lead 13-10 after the first eight minutes.
El Dorado pulled even less than a minute into the second quarter on Daniel Smith’s no-look pass to Visman but after Nick Jemmott’s answered an Amador Valley basket with a put-back, Contrearas jumpstarted a 12-point run with his second three of the half. The Dons took over the game, outscoring the Cougars 23-13 to take a 36-23 lead into the halftime break.
The teams played even in the third, answering basket for basket. Visman hit twice off the glass and spun in for two more, Jemmott scored on a turn-around jumper and Cochran, Ben Thomas and Kenny Headd went to the line for five of El Dorado’s 17 points.
But the Dons didn’t let down, scoring 17 on their end of the court to maintain their 13-point advantage.
“We tried to rally but we just couldn’t get anything going,” Thomas said. “They were a good team and played good defense.”
El Dorado spotted up for some three-point attempts in the fourth but nothing would fall while the Dons were seven-of-eight from the line and didn’t lose momentum even after losing one of their top players, Trevor Guerrieri, who was knocked down driving in for a slam dunk in traffic.
Visman led El Dorado with 16 points; Jemmott bucketed 10 and grabbed five boards. Smith, who has been the Cougars’ big scorer so far in the preseason, was held to three points by the Dons but pulled down nine rebounds.
Contrearas scored 15 points for Amador Valley, Johansen was right behind with 14, Guerrieri had 12 and Nick Routolo put up 10.
Amador Valley plays the winner of the Davis-Colfax game for the championship Saturday at 8 p.m. The Cougars play the loser of that game for third place. Their game tips off at 6:30.
The tournament, which was staged at both Ponderosa and El Dorado, concludes at El Dorado. Ponderosa, the winner over Nevada Union Friday, will play Whitney for the consolation championship at 5 p.m.