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Basketball Wins Over Hughson, Hilmar For Varsity Boys
Headed into Hughson for a Tuesday night game, coach Martin Louro didn't want his Cougars to take the Huskies lightly.

"Hughson is pretty down this year but sometimes you go into a game like that knowing you should win and you don't play good," Louro said. "That can be really dangerous ... we wanted to go in there and dominate and we went in and played well."

Escalon left little room for doubt after the first quarter, as they outscored the host Huskies 24-7 and cruised to a 75-33 win. Escalon had a 46-19 lead at the half and put the game away for good with a 26-11 run in the third.

"I was able to let everybody play a lot and we really spread out the scoring," Louro said.

Leading the way was Nate Peterson with 16 points and Austen Cardoza hit double figures with 10. A couple other players contributed nine and nearly everyone got involved in the scoring as the Cougars were able to dominate the contest. Friday, they capped off a successful Homecoming evening with a 63-51 win over Hilmar. Even though the final margin of victory was just 12 points, Louro said he felt his team was in control and he never felt that Hilmar was going to make a charge at the end.

In fact, the lead was double digits nearly the entire way, Escalon enjoying a 21-12 lead after one, 37-19 at the half. Hilmar closed the gap slightly with scoring edges of 18-15 in the third, 14-11 in the fourth, but Escalon took the win.

"Hilmar's still a very dangerous team, they've got some good players," Louro noted. "They're going to beat some teams and you just don't want it to be you."

The Yellowjackets played a high-energy, intense game and every rebound was a battle on the boards. Escalon took the opportunity, with a big lead at the half, to work on some plays they had done in practice, said Louro.

"I wanted them to get some experience doing new things, but they didn't work out all that well," Louro said of allowing the Yellowjackets to chip away at the score.

Still, he said it was good to see the players working on those other plays, if just for future use.

"Everybody played again, almost everybody scored," said Louro.

Peterson had 14 in the Homecoming win, Tyler Schuurman had 12 and Robbie Leal added 10 more to the total.

The boys were slated to travel to Modesto Christian on Tuesday night, Jan. 25 after The Times went to press, to take on the league-leading Crusaders.

"We enjoy the challenge," Louro said. "They always bring out the best in us and this year we have a little more talent than the past few years, so, who knows?"

The Cougars have a league bye on Friday, Jan. 28 but will head to Patterson for a non-league contest with the Tigers on what will be the Homecoming Night there. Next week, the Cougars will start the second round of league play, hosting Riverbank on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

"We don't want them to come in and steal one away from us," Louro said of being ready for the Bruins when they come to town. The varsity game on Feb. 1 starts at 7:30 p.m.