AABL

Week 5 marks the halfway point of the 10-week Amador Adult Basketball League spring season as the playoff picture starts to take shape.

The AC Warriors continued their B League dominance with a 89-41 win over Seekers Insurance. Garret Romero poured in 22 for ACW moving them to a perfect 5-0 and increasing their average margin of victory to 29 points per game. Next week they will face an A League team in interleague play and they should have a good idea how they stack up against the big boys.

The Seekers suffered their worst loss of the season, but manager Mike McCarty was the bright spot, scoring 15 in the loss.

The undefeated Mother Lode Miners, comprised of Argonaut High School varsity boys basketball players were next, facing a more experienced Mueller’s Elite squad. And while the older guys hung with the youngsters in the early-going with solid play by Micah Molin, who had 20 points in the contest, the Miners pulled away in the second half behind hot shooting by Calvin Trotter, who ended the game with 33 points, moving them to a perfect 5-0. But the Miners have a tough road ahead with an interleague matchup with the powerful Botto Inn next week and then the undefeated AC warriors in Week 7. Should be a good test for the kids.

In the third game, old rivals ACES waste and Botto B squared off, bringing back memories of the epic B League battles between these two franchises in years gone by. And this game was no different as the teams traded blows with several lead changes throughout the game. Down eight points with 6 minutes to go, ACES mounted a comeback with solid defense and clutch shooting by Ryan Ruggairo, who led all scorers with 13. Botto B found themselves on the free throw line frequently, but couldn’t convert, going a dismal 3 for 12 from the charity stripe, including key misses down the stretch. But Botto B managed to get two clutch offensive rebounds from missed free throws and held on to win the game 57-55. Manager Tom Baldwin led his Botto B squad with 12, while fellow Botto founder Carl Jackson had eight points of his own in the victory. Steve King and Tad Baker added 12 each for ACES in this close contest.

The Botto Inn took to the court next in an A League matchup against a depleted Shawn’s Team, who seemed to be missing players. And the nearly full strength Botto Inn took advantage. Coming out of the blocks fast, Botto Inn scored the first 12 points of the contest as manager Shane Crowe was red hot, hitting three 3-point buckets early on. But Shawn’s team settled down and cut the margin to a more manageable number by halftime with solid team defense and some nifty 3-point shooting by Nick Range. But the second half was a different story. Botto Inn heated up with eight 3-pointers in the second half from four different people and tremendous defense, limiting Shawn’s team to 30 points in the second half to Botto’s 51 and going on to a 96-60 victory. The win solidified their No. 2 spot with a 3-2 record. Spencer Finch ended the evening with an impressive 33 points, while Austin Johnson scored 28.

Next up was a key matchup between two B League playoff contenders, the Outsiders B and Jam Fam, vying for the number 3 and 4 playoff spots. Jam Fam led most of the way, but the Outsiders kept cutting the margin and even taking brief leads. But in the end, the sharp shooting by Jam Fam, led by Marcus Mercado, was the difference propelling his team to an 81-63 win. Mercado scored 12 of his game-high 25 points from behind the arc, but went to the basket effectively as well. Teammate Jake Foraker added 20 in the win, moving Jam Fam into a tie for third place with Botto B, setting up a potentially key matchup in Week 8 between these two teams. The Outsiders B dropped to 2-3 and are on the outside looking in with regard to the playoffs. Calvin Trotter scored 17 in the losing effort.

The undefeated County Boys once again matched up against the Outsiders A League squad in what seems to always be a tough, physical and sometimes chippy contest. More technical fouls have been called on these teams when they play each other than any other matchups by a long shot and there was no reason to believe this matchup would be any different. The Outsiders hung tough for a long time with physical play by solid interior defense, but were overwhelmed by the County Boys athleticism and sharp offense execution. Casey Ryan once again led the way, this time with 24 points as the County Boys kept their unbeaten streak alive with the 80-64 victory. Josiah Lozano added 21 points for the Boys, while Lucas Hoff and Walter Guerra had 15 and 13, respectively, in the loss.

Thanks again to all our generous sponsors who make this league possible: Jackson Rancheria Casino Hotel, Barron’s Furniture, Matich/Vukovich Insurance, and Baskin Robbins. And we would especially like to thank our new sponsors Michael Hines Painting, Affordable Insurance, KDR Enterprises, Trassare Jewelers and New York Fitness for their support.