Three county schools earn trophies
The 38th annual AMA Girls Basketball Tournament culminated with a bang after five days of action. The final day alone saw six games and nine trophies handed out to elementary and middle school teams from across the Mother Lode.
Calaveras County schools did not win a championship for the first time since 2010, but took home three trophies overall, which was an improvement over the two won by county teams last year.
The sixth-grade championship game featured tournament host Mark Twain Elementary against Jackson. Mark Twain looked to snatch the crown for the first time since 2009, but it was Jackson instead grabbing its first AMA championship since the 2007 season.
With the score 12-12, Jackson turned up its defense and forced several turnovers, which led to easy layups in transition. Led by MVP Courtney Six (18 points) and Chanelle Carney (10 points), Jackson went on an 11-0 run and opened its lead to 23-12 early in the third quarter.
The Jaguars cruised the rest of the way to win 34-20. Mark Twain was led in scoring by Briann Simpson with 14 points.
In the third-place game for the sixth-grade division, Avery defeated Jenny Lind 12-10 in overtime after a wild finish that saw a last second foul on a half-court shot to force overtime. Hannah Marinics scored eight points to lead Avery while Grace Berry scored 4 points to lead Jenny Lind.
Marinics, Simpson and Miyah Licea earned all-tournament honors.
In the seventh-grade division, Curtis Creek of Sonora defeated Summerville of Tuolumne 28-21. Crystal Leers scored a game-high 9 points to lead the Mustangs.
In the third-place game, Jackson defeated Mark Twain 23-13. Janet Ortega led Mark Twain with four points.
Kate Roberts of Mark Twain earned all-tournament honors.
In the eighth-grade division, Curtis Creek added another title, holding off Jackson in a thriller 43-40. Delaney Ditler led Curtis Creek with 13 points and Makenna Cabri of Jackson also scored 13 points. Amanda Mena added 12 points for the Mustangs and Madison Hoyt added 11 points for the Jaguars.
Mark Twain defeated Avery 35-30 in the third-place game for eighth grade. Christine Lora scored 14 points to lead the Badgers and Sam Smith and Danielle Diebold scored eight points each. Daphne Stanfill scored seven points to lead Avery and Deborah Brady added five points.
Taylor Hammond of Mark Twain earned all-tournament honors.