Escalon’s JV basketball boys went over the 50-point mark in each of their games this past week; unfortunately, their opponents went over the 60-point mark.
The boys lost to visiting Ripon Christian by a 65-51 decision on Wednesday, then traveled and fell to Ripon on the road Friday, 61-54.
Head coach Brandon Hoover said his team, which includes four freshman starters, fell into a big hole early on Wednesday, Jan. 15.
“In the first half, we were down 40-18, we dug ourselves a deep hole,” explained Hoover. “But we cut it down to five with about four minutes left in the final quarter.”
Battling back, the JV boys did make it a game and got to within a couple of possessions before the Knights capitalized on late chances to put the game away.
“I was real happy with the effort and have been all season,” Hoover said, noting that the young team continues to work well together, is learning as they go, and will only get better the more experience they gain on the court.
Freshman Jack Anderson scored 18 points on the night and fellow freshman DeSean Owens was also in double figures with 15, as was Matthew Silva, putting together a strong game with a 13-point effort.
“We’re starting to mature a little bit,” Hoover said of the squad, which has only seen a couple of wins but always put forth their best effort.
On Friday, it was an even tougher loss, as the JV boys ran out to a double digit lead in the opening quarter on the road at Ripon.
The final was 61-54 in favor of the host Indians.
“We scored 29 points in the first quarter and had a 29-10 lead after the first, our best quarter of the season,” Hoover noted. “But we were inconsistent in the second and third quarters, we were down by 10 in the fourth.”
Escalon was able to chip away a little at the Ripon lead but couldn’t quite make up all the ground they lost over the middle two frames, falling by the seven-point deficit at the buzzer.
Freshmen Anderson and Owens each equaled their offensive output of the previous game, Anderson notching 18 points to lead the squad, Owens with 15. Freshman Zack Valencia had 12 points in the loss.
Both contests in Trans-Valley League play went in the loss column this past week for the youngest Cougar boys.
After starting out league play with a 64-48 win at Riverbank on Friday, Jan. 10, the boys hosted Ripon Christian on Wednesday, Jan. 15 and fell by a 61-45 decision. Visiting RC took a 16-12 lead after one and outscored Escalon 16-9 in the second to lead it 32-21 at the half. An 18-5 run for the Knights in the third quarter effectively put the game away, 50-26, but the frosh boys did make a surge in the final frame, outscoring the Knights 19-11 over the final eight minutes. They still fell short in the contest to even their TVL mark at 1-1.
They went to 1-2 with the road game Friday at Ripon, losing to the host Indians by 12 points in a 45-33 decision.
The squads are scheduled to head to Hughson for Thursday action, Jan. 23 with freshmen at 4 p.m., JV at 5:30 p.m.; then come home to host Hilmar with the same start times on Friday, Jan. 24.