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All-tournament award winners at the fifth-grade boys basketball championship tournament included, from left, Kedryen Nixon and Carson Murphy of Sutter Creek; Aaron Koepp, Quincy Dyson, Zachary Coggin and Cohen Curran of Valley Springs; Jordan Hulsebosch and Carson Gilliam of the Motherlode Miners; and Mathew Nord and Fox Darby of Mark Twain (not pictured: Adam Garcia of Jackson).

The Valley Springs Elementary School fifth-grade boys basketball team completed a perfect season with a first-place finish at the season-ending league championship tournament last week at Jackson Junior High School.

The top-seeded Valley Springs 1 team, knocked off Sutter Creek and Jackson on their way to the finals, where they defeated the Mark Twain Badgers 44-32 on Saturday, February 8 to finish off an unbeaten season and claim the tournament championship.

Coached by Shiree and Zac Coggin, the Bulldogs were led on the court by tournament Most Valuable Player Aaron Koepp, who hit three 3-pointers and scored 17 points in the championship game, and all-tournament players Cohen Curran and Zachary Coggin.

In the third-place game on Saturday, the Motherlode Miners defeated Jackson 25-21. Jordan Hulsebosch and Carson Gilliam earned all-tournament honors for the Miners.

Sutter Creek bounced back from its loss to the Valley Springs 1 team earlier in the tournament to win the consolation championship, beating the Valley Springs 2 team in the consolation finals on Saturday, February 8. The Wolverines finished the tournament with a 3-1 record.

“I could not be more proud of how hard these boys played all season,” Sutter Creek coach Dave Tearpak said. “We improved every game and really surprised a lot of teams.”

Carson Murphy and Kedryen Nixon earned all-tournament honors for Sutter Creek. Quincy Dyson earned all-tournament honors for the Valley Springs 2 team.

Jackson teams place third at AMA Tourney

At the 48th annual AMA Boys Basketball Tournament at Mark Twain Elementary School in Angels Camp last week, the Jackson Junior High School seventh- and eighth-grade boys basketball teams both finished in third place in their respective tournament brackets.

In the eighth-grade division, Jackson bounced back from a loss to eventual tournament-champion Sonora in the semifinals on Friday, February 7 to beat Toyon in the third-place game on Saturday, February 8. Clinton Fage earned all-tournament honors for Jackson in the eighth-grade division, along with Reese Hampton and Riley Edwards of Sonora, and Ryan McDaniel and Austin Blodgett of Mark Twain.


In the seventh-grade division, Jackson opened the AMA Tournament with a thrilling 41-39 victory over Amador County-rival Ione on Wednesday, February 5. Marcus Scaife had 12 points and four steals, and Mitchell McMahan had 12 points, six rebounds and five steals to lead the Jaguars. Also for Jackson, Joaquin Porto had five points, 12 rebounds and 10 steals; and Cole Porto had four points, eight rebounds and seven steals.

In the semifinals on Friday, February 7, Jackson lost to McCaffrey of Galt 48-29. Joaquin Porto had eight points and five rebounds; McMahan had six points and four rebounds; Ricky Santos scored six points; Cole Porto had nine rebounds; and Seth Mitchell had seven rebounds for the Jaguars.

In the third-place game on Saturday, February 8, Jackson finished the tournament, and season, on a winning note by defeating Mark Twain 42-33. Scaife had nine points, four rebounds and two steals; Ian McElfish scored seven points; McMahan had six points and five rebounds; Cole and Joaquin Porto grabbed seven rebounds each; and Mitchell had six rebounds and two steals.

Scaife was named to the all-tournament team in the seventh-grade division, along with Jack Trent, Jacob Bouma and Eli Weidmann of Avery, and Kade Le Compte of McCaffrey. Avery defeated McCaffrey in the seventh-grade division finals.


Ethan Slish of the Toyon sixth-grade boys basketball team defends Tumi Owens of Avery in the AMA Tournament championship game on Saturday.

In the sixth-grade division, Toyon Middle School made it all the way to the finals on Saturday, February 8, but was unable to hold off a big second-half comeback by Avery in the championship game and finished in second place. Curtis Creek of Sonora defeated Sutter Creek in the third-place game.

All-tournament players for the sixth-grade were Niko Kreisberg and Tumi Owens of Avery; Ryan Clifton and JoJo Dockett of Toyon; and Luke Larson of Curtis Creek.