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Holiday Week Light For Hoops Team
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Though they took the loss, the Dec. 21 game against Grace Davis will make Escalon a better basketball team.

That's the assessment from head coach Martin Louro, who said the 82-63 final wasn't indicative of how competitive the game was.

"We won the third quarter, we cut the lead to three points," he said of battling the higher division team.

"It was a tough loss but I think this game will make us better."

Davis started off on fire, roaring to a first quarter advantage of 23-8.

"We got off to a slow start, we haven't had a real good first quarter this year, I'm not sure how to get them started," Louro said of getting his team to play hard from the first jump ball.

Against Davis, the slow start put them in too deep a hole to fully climb out of before the final buzzer sounded.

"We won the third quarter and showed some character in battling back," Louro said. "But they had a big fourth quarter and stretched the lead back out. That's the best team in the MMC (Modesto Metro Conference) so it was a real good test for us."

Three players for Escalon were in double figures despite the loss, paced by Brian Gregorio with 17, Alec Von Alvensleben with 16 and Patrick Mulry with 15 points on the night.

Down 41-25 at the half, Escalon clawed their way back into it with the big third quarter effort, closing to within three points before Davis put the game away in the fourth.

A busy week is on tap for the Cougars following a few days off for the holiday break, as they host Central Valley on Monday, Jan. 2 in a 6 p.m. contest. The boys will then travel to Patterson on Wednesday, Jan. 4 and open the Trans-Valley League season with a home game against red hot Riverbank on Friday, Jan. 6.

Varsity game time is 7:30 p.m. for the league opener next week.