Hosting the Pete Arellano Memorial Tournament, the Escalon varsity and JV basketball girls will be in action this week.
Hosted by the Escalon Lions Club, the tournament is named after Arellano, who was a longtime teacher and coach at Escalon High School as well as an active member of the local Lions Club until his passing.
Games are scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 30 in opening round play, followed by contests on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 1 and 2.
Varsity head coach Joseph Dalpogetti said with the football team having a home game Friday night, hosting a NorCal bowl game, the Escalon basketball girls will play in the loser’s bracket Thursday and Friday, regardless of whether they win on the opening day. That side of the bracket has earlier game times and Dalpogetti said that will allow the basketball girls and the Escalon fans to still take part in the basketball tournament and then attend the football game, set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday.
Varsity teams participating are Bret Harte, Central Catholic, Argonaut, Millennium, Johansen, Linden, Grace Davis and Escalon.
On opening day, Bret Harte and Central Catholic face off at 3:30 p.m., followed by Argonaut and Millennium in the 5 p.m. contest.
Johansen and Linden play the 6:30 p.m. game and host Escalon will take on Grace Davis at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
In the Junior Varsity bracket, teams taking part are host Escalon, Waterford, Central Catholic, Bret Harte, Bear Creek, Beyer, Linden and Johansen. Escalon and Waterford play the 3:30 p.m. game on Wednesday, followed by Central Catholic and Bret Harte at 5:30 p.m. It will be Bear Creek and Beyer at 6:30 p.m., Linden vs. Johansen at 8 p.m.
This is the 44th year for the tournament, originally known as the Escalon Lions Club Tournament before being renamed in honor of Arellano.
And while the goal is always to win your own tournament, Dalpogetti admitted this year is just a little different.
“We are going to write ourselves through the loser’s bracket even if we win so we can guarantee the 3:30 p.m. game on Friday so we can let the players, parents and volunteers head to the football game and I can bounce back and forth between the gym and the field in the evening,” the coach said.
Earlier, in their first preseason game on Nov. 23, the varsity girls defeated Waterford by a 60-23 final. Macie Vickers paced the team with 19 points while Kelsey Webster had 13 and Chloe Farley added 10. The JV girls also put a win on the books.