Escalon’s JV basketball boys battled back from a first round defeat to claim the consolation championship at the Johansen Tournament, winning their next two games.
“Our last game was by far our most complete game of the season, we played well from start to finish,” coach Nate Bartelink said.
Escalon opened the tournament on Thursday, Dec. 19 with a 62-48 loss to Beyer but saw a 14-point effort from Trent Avilla and 10 from Sam Lattig. Timmy Wallace added nine points in the loss and Caleb Hansen contributed eight.
Friday, the JV squad took the court against Livingston and though down 12-9 after one quarter, came back to take a 29-19 lead at the half and never looked back, sending the Wolves to a 62-48 loss. Hansen had his best game of the season, pouring in 21 points including five 3’s and Lattig had a solid outing with a dozen points. Hansen also had five steals and four assists and eight points came from Cameron Puthoff, his best game of the season so far as well.
In the consolation championship contest on Saturday, Escalon took a satisfying 62-46 victory and this time, Lattig was the start of the show, with a 30-point effort, pulling down nine rebounds as well. Hansen and Ryan Schuurman also hit double figures for the JV Cougars, putting in 11 points apiece.
Bartelink said it was a good tournament for the squad overall, especially coming back to win a pair of games after losing the first.
“They’re starting to implement things we are working on in practice,” he said of the team steadily improving.
Prior to the tournament play, the JV team took a 69-51 loss at Argonaut on Dec. 17, playing tough and trailing by just a point at the half, 30-29, but unable to keep pace with Argonaut as they went on a 28-11 run in the third quarter. Lattig had 17 points and seven rebounds to lead the team, Garrett Nebe chipped in with eight points.
Following the Christmas holiday, the team will be back in action, as the Escalon JV and freshmen host their holiday tournament at EHS, with games in both gyms on campus Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 26 through 28.
“There are eight teams at each level, 16 total in the tournament,” Bartelink said. “The tournament games start at 2 p.m., and we open up Thursday with Colusa at 6:30 p.m.”
For the varsity and coach Martin Louro, the week began with a tough one-point loss on the road at Argonaut, falling by a 63-62 final on Dec. 17. Escalon had a 21-17 lead after one and 31-27 edge at the half, but Argonaut took the lead with a 19-10 run in the third quarter. Escalon’s varsity battled back and outscored Argonaut 21-17 in the fourth, falling just short of sending the game into overtime.
They were at the Carmel Invitational for games Thursday through Saturday but results were not available at press time.