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Final Week Win For Varsity Basketball Girls
Closing out their season with a win and a loss, the Escalon varsity basketball girls played the role of spoiler on Monday, winning at Hilmar for that school's Senior Night.

"The last time, they beat us 50-46," explained coach Joseph Dalpogetti. "We wanted to play spoiler on their senior night, that was blackboard material for us."

They also wanted to try and knock down the seeding placement for the Yellowjackets a little bit, trying to keep them out of the postseason. Escalon played a very consistent game, with 18 points in the first quarter, 14 in the second, 15 in the third and 17 in the fourth, outscoring Hilmar in every quarter on the way to a convincing 64-35 win.

"They kept pressing us and we finally figured out how to expose it, we were able to get into the paint," said Dalpogetti. "Next to last game of the season, it came a little too late."

But it did come early enough to get the road win, with three players in double figures for the Lady Cougars. They were paced by Cassie Kennedy with 16 points, Kaitlin DaDalt with 15 and Adalia Cajias chipping in with 11.

"Those are all post players," Dalpogetti said of getting the ball underneath.

Major improvement between the first and second meeting were also evident in the number of times the Yellowjackets went to the line, taking 10 free throws this game compared to 30 the first time around.

"They also had two players who combined for 24 points against us last time and this time the combined for just four points," Dalpogetti said. "Our defense was much quicker to its spots."

Escalon had an 18-15 lead after one quarter, 32-21 at the half and kept the pressure on to take the win.

In their season finale on Thursday night, Escalon hosted league champion, undefeated in the Trans-Valley League, Modesto Christian. It was a 67-21 loss to the Lady Crusaders, but Dalpogetti said he was pleased with the effort his team put forth in the contest.

"My kids played hard, they fought all game and you really can't ask for more than that," he said, noting that they were already down 20-5 after one period of play.

It was also Senior Night for Escalon, with Ami Hood the lone honoree. Lost early on in the season to injury, Dalpogetti said the visitors were gracious in taking part in a pre-arranged play in which Hood was able to take the first shot of the game.

"They let us win the tip off, we had a couple of dribbles and got the pass to Ami for the lay-up, then we let Modesto Christian go down and take a lay-up, then we subbed Ami out," he explained.

That way, the senior had the chance to take the court one final time as a player for the Cougars.

"That really was the highlight of the game," Dalpogetti said.

MC built up a 37-5 lead at the half, and then outscored Escalon 30-16 in the second half to cruise to the win. DaDalt had seven points to lead Escalon.

Dalpogetti said though the season didn't go the way they had hoped, he was pleased to see the recent progress and is confident the players gained valuable experience that will serve them well next season, as they take the court with a year of varsity experience.