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Cougar varsity boys split Week's Games
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Riverbank came and spoiled Escalon's Homecoming party on Friday night, the host varsity Cougar boys falling to the Bruins in a hard-fought contest.

The Friday night loss, coupled with a Tuesday night victory, gave Escalon a split of its Trans-Valley League contests for the week and left them with a 6-4 mark in league play.

Hosting Patterson on Tuesday, the Cougars put the game away with a strong second half effort, winning 62-50.

"Grant Goedhart had a great night shooting, Marc Backovich and Marcus Savage did a great job handling the ball," coach Mike Backovich explained.

Goedhart had five 3's and totaled 21 points to lead the team. Backovich put in 10, Steve Gentry and Marcus Savage each scored nine points.

"We're not very big, that's obvious," Backovich said of matching up against the bigger Patterson squad. "We have Nate Williamson who goes about 6-1 and Steve Gentry at 6-2, after that, we're dinky and if we don't shoot well outside, we're in for a long night."

With Goedhart getting hot from 3-point range, the Cougars were able to win on the strength of that outside shooting game.

They led 10-7 after one period and 24-22 at the half, then outscored Patterson with a 20-14 run in the third period to put some distance in between them.

"We got out and ran a sprint in the third quarter," Backovich said. "And Steve Gentry got some big rebounds that game."

Hosting Riverbank for Friday night's Homecoming, the battle was intense and the Bruins outlasted the host squad to take a 46-38 victory.

"In the Riverbank game, we just didn't score inside, we had only three baskets inside the paint," said Backovich. "And we were just 11-for-21 from the free throw line, we had huge chances to cut leads of five to three and from four to two, we just didn't."

Riverbank converted on 10 of 15 free throws and made the shots count when they had to.

The teams were tied 13-13 after one, Riverbank got hot at the end of the half and took a 28-20 lead into the locker room at half-time. They stayed a few points better than the Cougars the rest of the way, though the varsity boys didn't go quietly.

"Our kids go hard, they play as hard as they can," Backovich said. "Riverbank played such great defense, they always do, they did some things to us in man and we didn't adjust to it."

Goedhart was high point man for the Cougars with 10, followed by Gentry with eight points, Savage with seven.

"We got outrebounded, we shot terribly from the free throw line," Backovich said in summing up the keys to the game. "We were not getting the second shots, they were scoring in the paint and we were not."

At 6-4 in league play, Backovich said the squad realistically needs to win three out of its last four games to make the playoffs.

They will wrap up the home portion of the campaign with a Friday night game hosting Ripon, The varsity will tip off at 8 p.m.