Finding themselves undersized nearly every time out on the court, the Escalon varsity basketball girls battled through a tough week. They lost to Ripon Christian on Tuesday in a road game and Thursday hosted and lost to Ripon.
Escalon entered the Tuesday, Jan. 14 game with a 1-0 record and a win over Riverbank while Ripon Christian was 0-1 after a tough loss to Hughson.
“Back and forth battle in the first and we were up 12-10 at the end of one,” said head coach Joseph Dalpogetti. “We got some okay looks in the second quarter but went ice cold. They have a huge size advantage on us, as does everyone, so we struggle to get looks inside so we have to hit from the outside and it wasn’t happening.”
The Lady Cougars were down 26-16 at halftime and the third quarter was more of the same, Escalon trailing 40-26 heading into the final frame.
“We have overcome double digit deficits a few times this year and once in the fourth quarter alone so we knew we could make a run,” explained Dalpogetti. “We cut it to six with four minutes left and then five with one minute left. We had a few good opportunities to make it a one possession game but couldn’t connect.”
The final score was 47-40 in Ripon Christian’s favor, as they made a couple of late free throws when Escalon was forced to foul.
Hannah Boyd had 15 points on the night and Brooke Campbell finished with 12.
“Thursday we had the first place Ripon Indians at home. We had the lead 7-6 but things went downhill quickly from there. They have the best player in the league in Reina Saucedo and their bench is deep,” Dalpogetti said. “They sub and can keep coming at you.”
Down 36-11 at halftime, the game “got out of hand” in the third quarter, said the coach, with the final a lopsided 64-23 win for Ripon. Campbell had nine points to lead the varsity girls. Dalpogetti was also ejected from the game.
The squad is now 7-11 overall and 1-2 in league play, currently tied for fourth. They were scheduled to play at Livingston on Tuesday, Jan. 21 after The Times went to press. They will be on the home court hosting Hughson on Thursday and back on the road Friday for a game at Hilmar.
For the JV girls, they had just one contest on the court this past week, taking on Ripon and playing hard but ultimately falling by a 46-40 final score. Leading the way for Escalon, said head coach Sam Baez, was Isabella Jaime with 20 points. They did get a win, though, as Ripon Christian forfeited to them on Tuesday. The JV girls also have trio of games scheduled for this week, tipping off at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday before the varsity squad takes the court.