MINDEN -- Coming into the championship game of the Carson Valley Classic boys basketball tournament Saturday night, Memorial coach John Grammer knew Amador Valley would present a big challenge.
First, Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.) is a ranked California team. Second, was the Bay area team's tall front line.
The Vipers passed their test to defeat Amador Valley 65-60 and take the Classic championship back to Victoria, Texas.
Tournament MVP Jeremy Barnett scored 14 points to lead a balanced attack as Memorial (8-1) used its uptempo style, a strong effort underneath the basket and accuracy from the free throw line to win the final at Douglas High School tournament.
"I thought we played very well at times, especially when we got off to that good start in the first quarter," Grammer said. "I thought this was our best game of the year as far as our rebounding. I was really concerned that their size would give us some problems, but the guys did a real good job of blocking out and getting good position."
Amador Valley, ranked No. 8 overall in Northern California, features a front line that includes 6-foot-6 Thomas Juillerat, 6-7 Brandon Allen, 6-6 Andy Bocian and 6-4 Andrew Steudle.
Juillerat led all scorers with 24, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter before he fouled out. Nick Johnson also scored 15 for the Dons.
Stanley scored 13 points for Memorial, while 6-3 forward Bo Matson and 6-7 center J.D. Holzheauser added nine each.
The Vipers shot 19-for-25 from the free throw line for the game and they were 4-for-6 in the final 20 seconds to ice the victory.
Barnett scored eight points as Memorial surged to a 20-8 lead. Amador Valley pulled to within 36-29 at halftime and came back to take the lead at one point in the third quarter. Memorial led 46-45 at the end of the third period.
The win capped a trip in which the the Vipers won four games in four nights in northern Nevada (they beat Galena 64-61 Wednesday). If all goes well, the experience will help in their bid to be successful in the Texas 5A playoffs in March.
"This was a successful trip for us," Grammer said. "Now, we go back home and play again on Tuesday, then we have our tournament, where we have to play five games in three days. And we have the No. 1 team in Texas 5A coming in, so that's going to be pretty tough."
Memorial 65, Amador Valley 60
Amador Valley 8 21 16 15 -- 60
Memorial 20 16 10 19 -- 65
Amador Valley (4-1): Yoshida 2 0-0 4, Pang 0 1-2 1, Juillerat 8 7-10 24, Vernon 1 0-0 2, Johnson 6 2-4 15, Allen 2 0-1 4, Steudle 2 0-0 4, Bocian 2 2-4 6, Totals 23 12-21 60.
Memorial (8-1): McKee 2 0-0 5, Thomas 2 2-2 7, Barnett 5 4-4 14, Ortega 0 6-6 6, Holzheauser 4 1-2 9, Arkadie 1 0-0 2, Matson 3 3-6 9, Stanley 5 3-5 13, Totals 22 19-25 65.
3-point goals: (Amador Valley 2) Juillerat 1, Johnson 1; (Memorial 2) McKee 1, Thomas 1. Team fouls: Amador Valley 20, Memorial 19. Fouled out: Juillerat.