Al’s Baseliners took the championship in the men’s division of the 175 Classic Basketball Tournament on April 10. They played against the United Mine Workers Association (UMWA). In this basketball league, the teams are composed of players ages 35 and older.
For the past 10 years or so, Sandy Jesus, coach of the UMWA team, has come down from northern Arizona with his team to play in the 175 Classic. UMWA lost their first game, but won both their games on Friday and Saturday. By Saturday evening, UMWA had played about four games that day and found themselves up against Al’s Baseliners in the championship game, a tough team that participates in the tournament every year as well.
Last year the Baseliners lost for the first time in a long time, and this year they were not going to let that happen with UMWA. Al’s Baseliners seemed to have 35-year-olds who had plenty of game left in them, playing as if they were still in their 20s. The UMWA team could not keep up with the Baseliners, and the refs called the mercy rule with a final score of 71-41.
The Rez Gunners took third place in the men’s division, losing to UMWA 57-63.
The San Carlos Bad Boys took fourth, also losing to UMWA, 52-53.
Many of the teams are bringing in up-and-coming 30-year-olds as the players of the past slowly begin to wind down their participation.
In the women’s division, NDN Hoops won the championship game. They had been on a winning streak throughout their league games, and were able to carry that over into the 175 Classic tournament, winning against team Icy Hott.