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Publication Date: Friday, November 29, 2002

Amador Valley annual basketball tournament begins next week Amador Valley annual basketball tournament begins next week (November 29, 2002)

ABC tournament hosts some of the best teams in the state

One word - excitement - describes what basketball fans will find when they visit the 41st annual Amador Basketball Classic. The AVHS Varsity Boys and Girls basketball teams each hosts an eight-team basketball tournament, known as the ABC, every December that runs Wednesday through Saturday the first two weeks of the month.

The classic begins with the girls tournament Dec. 4-7. This year, Foothill will join in the girls' competition. The boys tournament is the following week, Dec. 11-14. The 2002 editions will be the ninth for the girls and the 41st annual for boys, making the boys ABC the longest running eight-team high school basketball tournament in the state.

The ABC traditionally brings some of the best high school teams and players in the state as well as from outside of the state to play in Pleasanton. The nationally ranked Crater High School girls team of Oswego, Ore., has participated in the last two girls ABC tournaments. On the boys side, recent entrants include state ranked powers such as Oakland Tech and St. Francis Mountain View. In 2001, St. Joseph High School of Alameda returned to the field for the first time since Jason Kidd led the Pilots to the ABC title.
Varsity Boys Tournament

This year's ABC field is looking stronger than ever. Look no further than the host school, the Amador Dons, led by Don Underwood in his 23rd year as varsity coach. They return four starters as well as a very experienced supporting cast. Rated as high as eighth in the Nor-Cal Pre-Season poll, out of all schools, the expectations are very high. Thomas Juillerat and Brandon Allen, each at 6 feet 6 inches, lead the senior laden Dons into action Wednesday night vs. Franklin High School of Stockton. With two transfers and their two best players back, the Yellow Jackets, led by 6 foot 9 inch Davis Andre, will provide a big and challenging lineup.

The tip-off game at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday will feature two similar-styled teams in Washington and Fairfield who are fast and furious. Fairfield has five returning players under the direction of coach Eddie Wilson and they will face off against the very physical and long range bombers of coach Mike Tripp from Washington.

On Thursday, the scoreboard will continue to flash big numbers as St. Ignatius, a Division I powerhouse from San Francisco, opens up against Cordova from Sacramento. SI brings most of their squad back from a year ago and adds a 6 foot 7 inch transfer form the East Coast in Jessie Lopez-Low. Though Bob Jones' Cordova Lancers look young on paper, their fast-paced style of play should never be overlooked.

The final first round game on Thursday pits two of the top teams in the San Joaquin Valley against each other. Merced, under the direction of long-time coach Vince Clemens, brings back four starters led by their point guard Chris Farmer and off guard Nate Wandick. They have speed to burn. Nevada Union has built a tradition on "in your face D and fire the 3." John Sheets and Gary Daley will provide a lot of the firepower this season for the Miners.
Boys ABC Tournament Schedule: Wed, Dec. 11 (Lower Bracket) 5:30 p.m. Washington (Fremont) vs. Fairfield 7:00 p.m. Franklin (Stockton) vs. Amador Valley
Thurs, Dec. 12 (Upper Bracket) 5:30 p.m. St. Ignatius (San Francisco) vs. Cordova (Sacramento) 7:00 p.m. Nevada Union (Grass Valley) vs. Merced
Friday, Dec 13 3:00 p.m. Consolation semifinal (Upper bracket) 4:30 p.m. Consolation semifinal (Lower bracket) 6:00 p.m. Championship semifinal (Upper bracket) 7:30 p.m. Championship semifinal (Lower bracket)
Saturday, Dec. 14 3:00 p.m. 7th place game 4:30 p.m. Consolation Championship 6:00 p.m. 3rd place game 7:30 p.m. Championship Final
Varsity Girls Tournament

The 2002-2003 Amador Valley Lady Dons enter this year as the four-time defending Division II North Coast Section Champions and 2002 EBAL Champions. After a first-round win in the Northern California Championship, last year's team lost in the NorCal semifinals to the eventual State Champions from St. Mary's, Stockton. The Dons return seven varsity players from last year's team, which finished with an overall record of 27-5. Senior post players 5 foot 11 inch Ashley King-Bischof and 6 foot 1 inch Annie Lockyer both averaged over 16 points per game last year with Bischof being named first team All EBAL. Other returning players are point guard Amanda Everett, forwards Cerena Johnson and Lindsey Heisser, and shooting guards Marissa Wyatt and Jenna Nicholson. Newcomers from last year's JV team Kristen Hart, Leah Munley and Shawna McGrath provide solid support to the team. The other newcomer is freshman Sara VanderHorst, who is expected to make her contribution at small forward.

This senior-led group is looking forward to continuing the Lady Don's history of success.
Girls ABC Tournament Schedule: Wed, Dec. 4 (Lower Bracket) 6 p.m. St. Mary's (Berkeley) vs. Skyline (Oakland) 7:30 p.m. Miramonte vs. Amador Valley
Thurs. Dec. 5 (Upper Bracket) 6 p.m. Acalanes vs. Castro Valley 7:30 p.m. Foothill vs. Madera
Friday. Dec. 6 3 p.m. Consolation semifinal (Upper bracket) 4:30 p.m. Consolation semifinal (Lower bracket) 6 p.m. Championship semifinal (Upper bracket) 7:45 p.m. Championship semifinal (Lower bracket)
Saturday, Dec. 7 3 p.m. 7th place game 4:30 p.m. Consolation Championship 6 p.m. 3rd place game 7:30 p.m. Championship Final -Heidi Massie

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