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First League Win In Books For Varsity Girls
Winning by a 25-point margin at home, the Lady Cougars couldn't keep up the same pace for the full contest on the road, losing at Hughson to close out the week.

They opened up play with a 47-22 victory over visiting Riverbank in Trans-Valley League action on Monday, Jan. 26.

"I didn't know how we were going to play," admitted coach Kristie Cathcart of putting her team on the court against a squad she felt they could top.

The girls did have to come out focused, she noted, and play a full four quarters to keep Riverbank from making it close.

"We hit two 3's that night and we haven't been taking those shots," Cathcart said.

She also pointed out that, for once, the shoe was on the other foot, with her players hitting shots and their opponents missing the mark.

"We made baskets, they didn't," she explained. "Their high scorer, who usually has about 10 points, only got four that night."

Escalon took control early with an 11-2 run in the first quarter. That helped set the tone for the game and allowed the girls to relax a little bit, which helped insure the shots continued to fall.

"They weren't afraid to shoot," added Cathcart. "The shots were going in, they had good looks."

With a 10-6 run in the second quarter, the Lady Cougars enjoyed a 21-8 edge midway through the contest. The host squad was consistent, scoring 13 points in the third and 13 in the fourth. Riverbank countered with four points in the third and 10 in the fourth, but the Lady Cougars put the win on the books.

Shayleen Archer and Annie Gallego were leading scorers, each putting in 10 points. Archer had one of the 3's, as did Anne Bacay, who had a total of seven points on the night, Breanna Brodie chipped in seven points as well and Krystal Lawrence contributed six.

On Thursday, Jan. 29, the girls headed to Hughson to take on the Huskies. The likely second place finisher in league behind Modesto Christian, the Huskies came out on top in a low-scoring affair, 39-22.

"They beat Ripon Christian by 20 points but we had the lead, 15-12 at halftime," Cathcart said of a superb first half effort by her team. "Breanna and Hannah (Yarborough) were both hurt from the Monday night game so I was prepared for the worst but we had a great first half."

Escalon outscored the Huskies 6-4 in the first quarter, 9-8 in the second, but then went into a virtual scoring drought in the second half.

"They (Hughson) came out and scored 27 points in the second half, we scored seven," Cathcart said.

Hughson got the lead with an 8-1 run in the third quarter, going up 20-16, and put the game away with a 19-6 edge in the fourth.

"Annie Gallego had 10 points but then she fouled out," Cathcart said. "Shayleen had seven points, Krystal Lawrence had three and Anne Bacay had two.

"Rachel Leal didn't score but she did a real good job defensively and led us in rebounds."

Nabbing its first league win with the victory over Riverbank, the girls ended the week at 1-3 in league play. They were scheduled to play at Ripon on Monday, Feb. 2 after The Times went to press and play host to Modesto Christian to kick off the second round of league play on Thursday, Feb. 5. Varsity game time is 7:30 p.m.