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League Season Ends With Split For Varsity Girls
Winning on the road to start the week, it was a loss at home to close out the season for the varsity basketball girls at Escalon.

The varsity squad topped Riverbank on Monday, Feb. 11 by a 54-45 final, but lost on the home court Thursday, Feb. 14 to Hughson, 48-28.

They took a 14-11 lead in the opening quarter at Riverbank, and were up just 23-21 at the half.

"It was a little too close for comfort," coach Kristie Cathcart pointed out. "The first time we played them, it was close, the second time we blew them out."

This time, it took a strong second half effort and keying on shutting down Lady Bruin scoring threat Vanessa Rodriguez to secure the win.

Escalon was a point better, 14-13, than the host Riverbank team in the third and outscored them 17-11 over the final eight minutes.

Rodriguez had already hit double digits in the first half, so keeping her away from the bucket was the main objective for Escalon in second half play.

"We went to a different defense, put pressure on their ball handler," Cathcart said of additional adjustments.

Katie Kaech, meanwhile, couldn't be stopped by Riverbank as she poured in 25 points to lead her team to the win.

"It was a good night for her," agreed Cathcart.

Kaitlyn Brayton and Noelle Bellino added 10 points each, with three Lady Cougars hitting double figures.

Mckenzie Brown added six points, with two from Megan Moore and a free throw by Kaylan Aufdermaur.

Brayton was lost for the season finale, turning her ankle and Katie Aprile sprained her thumb in a practice session, so neither of the sophomores was available for the Thursday night finale. The senior players, Aufdermaur, Kaech, Brown and Moore, were recognized at center court with their parents prior to the tip off against Hughson.