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JV Boys Off To Fast Start On Court
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Two games, two wins.

It has been a good start to the season for Escalon's JV boys basketball team. They went on the road Tuesday, Dec. 7 and took a win off the court against East Union, then hosted Manteca on Thursday, Dec. 9 and defeated them as well.

"We had first game jitters at East Union, we didn't play too well early," admitted coach Greg Largent. "By the third quarter, we had gotten the jitters out, we had a 17-point quarter and that got some distance for us."

Escalon won the contest by a 49-30 decision and with a strong showing in the third quarter, were able to get everyone into the game for some playing time.

Steve Largent paced the squad with a 12-point night and pulled down 10 rebounds. Phil Parrish added five points and dished out six assists, Brian French was in double figures with 11 points. Jaremy Puthoff and Dan Sawyer had five points apiece.

"Dan Sawyer came in off the bench and played some good defense, he had four rebounds," explained Largent. "Mike Stime also had some good rebounds."

Thursday at home against Manteca, it was a much tougher contest, with the JV Cougars holding on for a 39-37 win.

"It started off to be a real fast paced game," said Largent. "We were up 13-11 after one quarter, it was tied 22-22 at half-time."

Escalon stayed just a basket better than their opponents in the third, leading it 34-32 after three frames. Each team scored just five points in the final quarter.

"The key was with about a minute to go, Mike Stime was at the line, he missed the free throw but Steve Largent got the rebound and put it in, that put us up by two," the coach said. "We also scored on our next possession."

Edging out to a 5-point lead with under 30 seconds to play, the home team saw East Union come down and hit a 3-pointer to trim the score to just a 2-point lead. The visitors had the chance to send it into overtime on a last-second lay-up but the ball tipped off the hand of the player going up for the shot, falling away from the basket.

"We dodged a bullet," Largent said. "But I was very pleased with the way the kids played, we're getting our basketball legs under us."

Parrish and Largent had 13 points each to lead the JV squad in the win, French and Puthoff combined to shut down Manteca's big man - who had poured in 14 first-half points - holding him scoreless in the second half.

"Mike Stime had some big boards for us again," said Largent.

The offense is looking solid early and the defense is getting the job done as well, making for a couple of nice early season wins.

Sawyer and Largent each had eight rebounds against Manteca, Parrish had seven. David Anderson and French each had five steals.

Originally slated to play at the Linden Tournament Dec. 16 through 18, that appearance has been scrapped. The JV boys will instead travel next to the Orestimba Tournament for games Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 20 through 22.