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Basketball Battle A Fundraising Fun Evening
Varsity player Logan Anderson, in Bulls jersey, goes up to the hoop as staff members Brandon Hoover, left, and Andrew Beam, right, try to stop his progress during the recent benefit basketball game in the EHS main gym. Times Photos By Marg Jackson

It was all in fun … well, mostly in fun … as several members of the varsity boys basketball team suited up to take on several Escalon High School staff members and coaches.

The evening competition, on Wednesday, May 10 in the main gym on the EHS campus, drew a sizeable crowd and featured two 20-minute halves of basketball intensity.

Varsity boys head coach Nate Bartelink served as the referee for the night and there were some fouls, but much of the time the players were allowed to play, even when it turned a bit scrappy under the hoop.

Even EHS Principal Jason Furtado got in on the action and the staff surprised the varsity boys by jumping out to a lead, working the perimeter and dropping in some shots from beyond the arc. It was a 27-19 edge for the staff at halftime.

“They got a good chewing out,” varsity coach Derek Fragoso, a senior, said of letting his players hear about it during the break. “We weren’t getting to the rim like I wanted but, second half, we picked it up. I told them to get to the rim, we had to stop being soft.”

And even though teacher/coaches Brandon Hoover and Andrew Beam were tough on defense, Fragoso said it was nice to battle through that and get the win.

“We settled in, we got our shots going,” Fragoso said.

The varsity slowly chipped away at the lead during the second half and prevailed with a 61-54 decision.

Principal Furtado agreed that the youth of the varsity team was a factor.

“I think what happened was, the old age caught up with us, you started to see Beam, who was hot in the beginning, he had nothing at the end,” Furtado said. “They played well and you know, they’re (varsity boys) a team, we don’t play together, they do play together; it was bound to happen.”

“They’re 17 and we’re 35,” Beam added, chuckling. “They’re the Energizer bunnies. It was a fun thing; it just brings the teachers and students together, it’s all in fun.”

The game, competitive to the end, saw several lead changes and Bartelink said he was glad to see such a well-played contest.

“I didn’t think it would be that close; it was good to have it a competitive game because it kept the crowd in it but, once again, it was the young legs that put the varsity on top,” Bartelink said.

Player-turned-coach Derek Fragoso, in suit, has a few words for player Samuel Jimenez as he comes off the floor for a little break during the Varsity vs. Staff benefit basketball game on May 10.
Senior standout Jack Anderson closely guards JV girls head coach San Baez as she dribbles the ball down the court on Wednesday night. The two also put on a three-point shooting demonstration at halftime.
There were smiles all around in the student section on Wednesday night, with varsity basketball players facing off with EHS staff and coaching personnel in a benefit basketball game. The varsity came from behind to take the win.