Avenging two previous losses, Escalon’s varsity basketball girls edged out visiting Riverbank on Tuesday night, Jan. 25 on the Escalon court.
The Lady Bruins had defeated the Lady Cougars in their tournament back in early December and also got the best of Escalon in their first Trans-Valley League meeting.
This time, it was a 34-32 Escalon win.
“Last time we played them we got down 17 in the third, but cut it to a single possession with free throws coming, so we knew that no matter what happened we could compete with them,” said head coach Joseph Dalpogetti. “We scored the game’s first four points before they closed the quarter on a 9-0 run.”
Finding themselves down 15-10 at halftime, the coach said they talked about having to move the ball more on offense for the second half, as the defense was playing well but they weren’t generating enough opportunities on the other end.
“We were dribbling to some bad spots on the court,” Dalpogetti said. “We had the best offensive quarter of the game in the third and scored 15 to go up 25-23 heading into the fourth.”
Riverbank proved up to the challenge, though, and regained the lead, going up by four in the final frame.
“Kelsey Webster hit a huge three to cut it to one,” said Dalpogetti of trimming the deficit “We were down two with about a minute left and we scored out of a timeout; Kelsey assisted to Macie Vickers for a lay-up to tie it.”
The girls were then able to get a stop on a Riverbank attack but turned it over on their possession. Another stop, another run up the court for Escalon and Vickers turned nothing into something, finding teammate Rachel Farley for the dish, Farley going in for the lay-up off the Vickers assist.
“Riverbank’s last second long two fell short and we won 34-32 in what was the best girls basketball environment I have ever been a part of since I’ve been coaching here the last 13 years,” said Dalpogetti.
Vickers had 13 points, eight rebounds and six steals; Farley had eight points and 14 rebounds while Soleil Gouzenne had “an excellent defensive game,” the coach added.
On the road Thursday, the girls took on Ripon Christian and got the victory, 40-29.
“RC played us very tough both times this season. Coach VanderMolen is doing a great job with them,” Dalpogetti noted. “We had a simple mission on Thursday. Get in and get out with a W. The girls did just that.”
Vickers had 10 points and Webster chipped in with eight points and eight rebounds. Farley pulled down nine rebounds; Marissa Silva and Gouzenne each had six steals.
The Lady Cougars ended the week with a 7-1 mark in TVL play, tied for first place with Hughson. They have compiled a 17-3-1 record overall.
“We have a three game week ahead of us against three very tough teams,” explained Dalpogetti, noting the girls were to host Ripon on Tuesday, Feb. 1 and then will be on the road for two. “We are at Livingston Thursday (Feb. 3) and at Hughson on Friday (Feb. 4).”
It was a pair of lopsided wins for the junior varsity Lady Cougars, as they upended visiting Riverbank and put away host Ripon Christian.
Behind an 18-point night from Sammy Lang and eight points from Chloe Farley, the JV girls took a 52-11 win off the court Tuesday night against Riverbank. Then they went to Ripon Christian on Thursday night and overwhelmed the JV Lady Knights, winning there by a final of 41-5, said head coach Sam Baez. The girls did have a somewhat low scoring first half, totaling just 16 points over the first two quarters but poured it on in the second half, especially with a strong third quarter run that put the game away.