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Cougar Varsity Boys Salvage One Hoops Win

They had to wait until their final game of the week, but Escalon’s varsity Cougars did put one in the win column in boys basketball action.

The hectic pace saw the varsity hoopsters play at Ripon Christian on Tuesday, falling in a tough contest, 55-48.

“They only had two league losses,” head coach Nate Bartelink said of the host Knights coming into the contest. “It was pretty close throughout and I thought we played pretty well. In the third quarter, they hit a few 3’s and in the last minute, Brenden Holmes got poked in the eye and couldn’t continue.”

Down just two at the half, the Cougars battled but were outscored by Ripon Christian 12-7 in the final frame, taking the loss.

Holmes had 20 points and five rebounds, Russell Weinbrecht added 12 points and Ty Harris had a solid night with seven points and nine boards.

Thursday on the home court against Ripon, it was an even closer contest, coming down to the wire and Escalon falling just a bucket short, losing 70-68 to the Indians.

“It was a real high quality game, played well on both sides,” Bartelink said. “It was back and forth all night.”

Neither team could get much of a lead and the difference was the Ripon center, who hit for 14 points in the third quarter to keep the contest close. Ripon was four points better than the Cougars in the final frame to get the win.

“There were some missed opportunities,” admitted Bartelink, “and the clock started to become a factor; we just didn’t find the right shots but the boys played extremely hard. It is no fun to lose to Ripon, especially when you play that well.”

Holmes had 24 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, Weinbrecht added 13 points, Dylan Ruiz had 11 points, Harris had eight points and eight rebounds and Miguel Marmol added six points.

A quick turnaround saw the boys at Livingston on Friday night, where they were able to spoil Homecoming for the Wolves, taking a 57-49 win off the court. The teams were knotted at 23-23 at the half but a 22-point third quarter helped carry Escalon to the win.

“It was not our best night and we didn’t play well against their pace so I am thankful we escaped with a win,” Bartelink said.

Weinbrecht went off for 21 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four blocks; Holmes had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Ruiz added eight points and Colton Panero had seven points and eight rebounds.

The Cougars ended the week at 5-5 in league and look to get some wins this week as they battle for a spot in the postseason.