In what may have been the lowest combined score for a Trans-Valley League girls basketball game this season, Escalon escaped Riverbank with a 27-25 victory on Thursday.
The Jan. 30 contest saw the Lady Cougars and host Lady Bruins going toe to toe, the lead changing several times, before Escalon finally pulled away at the end and grabbed the win.
“A real barn burner,” head coach Joseph Dalpogetti quipped. “We were up 9-8 after one and down 18-11 at halftime.”
Escalon then came out of the locker room with some renewed purpose and outscored the home team 11-6 in the third, getting close but still trailing by two entering the final frame.
In the fourth quarter, Escalon managed to put just five more points on the board but, with Riverbank sinking just one free throw attempt and not hitting any shots from the floor, that allowed the Lady Cougars to escape the Bruin gym with the 27-25 victory.
“Our defense was solid all game, we wanted to front Mikayla Macias at all times and keep her off the glass and I thought we did a good job of that,” Dalpogetti said. “We only gave up 25 and some of those were because our offense wasn’t clicking and they were getting a couple of runs off our turnovers.”
Leading scorers Brooke Campbell and Hannah Boyd both battled foul trouble all night and had to sit in the second quarter. Campbell fouled out early in the fourth, Boyd with about two minutes remaining in the game.
“They are also our two primary ball handlers so the final few minutes were frenzied with Riverbank picking up full court,” the coach said. “Both teams hadn’t won in a while and you could tell both sides wanted it badly, but we made the extra plays down the stretch to secure it.”
Boyd had nine points in the win and Campbell added eight, while Ryilee McNulty came up big with 11 rebounds.
The girls were slated to host Ripon Christian on Tuesday, Feb. 4 after The Times went to press, travel to Ripon on Thursday, Feb. 6 and host Livingston on Friday, Feb. 7.