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Home Court Success For Varsity Basketball Boys
Winning both games this week, the Escalon varsity boys have gotten on a bit of a roll, topping Hilmar and Beyer.

They hosted Hilmar on Tuesday night, Dec. 22 and, after trading field goals in a 3-3 opening quarter, went on a 12-0 run to open up a 15-3 lead midway thorough the second. Hilmar came back with a run of their own to be down just five, 19-14, at the half but the host Cougars had the upper hand over the final two periods, winning 48-34. Escalon outscored Hilmar 12-8 in the third, 17-12 in the fourth to take the win.

"It has been nice to see the emergence of Vince (Aufdermaur) on the court, he led us with 25 points, a dozen rebounds, plus some steals and some blocks," head coach Martin Louro said of the senior.

Raymond David and Brandon Shaw had seven points each in the win.

"The neat thing about this team, one of our strengths is our depth," Louro added. "A few guys have had some big games for us. We have a lot of good players, it makes it tough (for opponents) to defend."

On Tuesday, Aufdermaur had all of Escalon's first quarter points, going 3-for-4 from the free throw line in an opening period that saw just six points total go on the scoreboard. He added nine points in the second quarter to pace the team with 12 first half points.

Wednesday against Beyer, it was a 57-41 victory for the Cougars, who again outscored their opponent in every quarter. It was 10-6 Escalon after one, 26-16 at the half, 42-27 after three and 57-41at the final buzzer.

"The funny part is, I felt we didn't do a good job defensively in the first half, but they (Beyer) made more shots in the second half," explained Louro. "We missed assignments early in the game, the score doesn't really tell everything."

Aufdermaur was the team scoring leader for the second consecutive night, with 15 points, followed by Spencer Murray with nine, Shaw and Gino Franceschetti with eight each.

"Vince is really emerging as a leader, he's a team captain and it's nice to see him playing with confidence," Louro said.

The team itself has gained confidence, the coach added, and many players were dedicated to a training regime over the summer and on through the fall preparing for this season.

"These seniors were freshmen when I got the job," Louro said of coaching those Cougars on the team that are in their final high school season. "They're finding that hard work pays off."

Louro added that the players are excited about the Trans-Valley League season and their chance to reach the playoffs, with plenty of players looking to contribute.

Next up, the boys head to Atwater for a game on Saturday, Jan. 2.

"We didn't look great offensively either night," Louro noted of this week's contests, "but the one thing we have been consistent with is our defense, trapping, pursuing the ball."

That has worked in their favor, as the boys have gotten some nice wins on the books this season.