Playing Sunday during the Yampa Valley Classic AAU Basketball Tournament at Moffat County High School, the Craig seventh-grade boys basketball team was able to outpace Olathe, 41-20.
The seventh-grade boys team was one of two teams from Craig to take the top spot in their home AAU tournament, following the sixth-grade girls’ victory against Paonia.
The Yampa Valley Classic is one of the first tournaments on the AAU basketball schedule for the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade teams.
The boys seventh-grade team jumped out to an early lead and held Olathe scoreless for the first six minutes of the opening half to go into halftime with a 22-7 advantage.
The second half saw Olathe spring to life on its way to 13 points, but Craig’s guard combo of Joe Camilletti and Tyler Davis proved to be too much.
Camilletti said Craig had a good offensive rhythm throughout the game.
“I though we played all right,” he said. “We were able to run some set offenses, and we executed.”
The Craig eighth-grade team fell to Coal Ridge, 39-24, in the championship game.
Coal Ridge built up a 16-14 lead at halftime but was able to pull away late in the second half to win.
In the girls eighth-grade championship game, Rifle was able to outlast Meeker.
The teams were tied, 13-13, at halftime, but Rifle was able to withstand a late attack to win, 34-28.
The Craig girls seventh-grade team finished second behind Rock Springs, Wyo.
In the sixth-grade division, Rock Springs’ boys team beat Montrose, and Craig beat Paonia in the girls bracket.
The AAU tournament featured 25 teams from Colorado and Wyoming spread out through sixth, seventh and eighth grade, up from less than 20 last year.
Amy Peck, who along with Shane Camilletti, Robert Razzano, Chris Jones and Luke Tucker serve on the Craig AAU basketball board, said this year’s tournament was a success.
“Next year, we’d like to see it get even bigger,” she said. “It’s something positive, and Craig needs something like this in the spring.
“It brings people into town, it generates business and it benefits our youth.”
Last year, money raised from the tournament was used to fix the sound system in the MCHS gymnasium.
Peck said that although it was unknown Monday how much money was raised, it would be returned to help repair another facility.
“Our goal is to keep costs low so everyone can learn the game,” she said. “Everything we get, we turn around and donate it back to help the basketball program grow.”
Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.