By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Basketball Girls Battling Through Final Weeks
Senior basketball players, with parents and friends accompanying them, were honored on the court prior to tip off at Thursdays home game. In front from left, Piper Rockwell, Lindsay Miranda, Jasmin Elisalde, Melissa Mullins, Kaitlynn Mayfield, Bonnie Head. Marg Jackson/The Times

Still on the lookout for their first Trans-Valley League win of the season, the Escalon varsity basketball girls didn’t find it this week. They lost at Ripon Christian on Tuesday and fell to Hilmar at home on Thursday.

The Feb. 10 game at RC was a 38-24 loss for the varsity squad.

“We were down 22-8 at the half, then outscored them 12-6 in the third,” said head coach Joseph Dalpogetti of trimming the lead to 28-20 after three. But a 10-4 scoring edge in the fourth for host RC gave them the win.

“We couldn’t get anything going offensively, we didn’t connect from the in the paint,” Dalpogetti noted. “They had a huge size advantage on us and that contributed to our offensive struggles and aided them on the other end with some easy points in the paint.”

Escalon shot just six free throws for the entire game and they weren’t whistled for a foul until there was just 2:10 left in the third quarter.

Jenelle Anderson had nine points to lead the team, Natalie Gonzalez had five, with Melissa Mullins and Lindsay Miranda each pulling down five rebounds.

Thursday at home against Hilmar, the varsity girls honored their senior players, with Jasmin Elisalde, Bonnie Head, Kaitlynn Mayfield, Lindsay Miranda, Melissa Mullins and Piper Rockwell recognized on the court, accompanied by parents, family and friends.

After falling behind Hilmar 11-8 in the first quarter, the varsity Lady Cougars battled back and started hitting shots and working the ball around well, outscoring Hilmar 18-6 in the second quarter to lead it 26-17 at the half. The Yellowjackets went on a 14-8 run of their own in the third, though Escalon still had the edge, 34-31 after three.

“They started attacking the basket in the second half and we didn’t do a good job of stopping the penetration,” Dalpogetti said. “They made plays down the stretch and we didn’t.”

Hilmar used a 17-12 scoring edge over the final eight minutes to get the win, 48-46, getting past the host Lady Cougars by the slimmest of margins and denying them a win on Senior Night.

Three players were in double figures, paced by Anderson and Mullins with 13 points apiece, Miranda with 12.

They were slated to close out their season on the road, playing at Ripon in the finale on Tuesday, Feb. 17, after The Times went to press.



Nearly doubled up by Mountain House, the Escalon JV girls then took a tough loss to Ripon Christian before finally getting a win at home, defeating Hilmar.

Despite getting just one win out of three games, head coach Andrew Beam said he was pleased with the play of his squad.

“Two of our best games of the year,” he said. “We were down 27-25 after three at Mountain House.”

Then they lost a couple players to injury and couldn’t keep pace with the host team in the Feb. 9 game in the fourth quarter, ultimately taking a 49-25 loss.

At Ripon Christian on Tuesday, Feb. 10, the JV girls were up 10-7 after one, 21-10 at the half and had a 29-26 advantage after three.

“It was one of the most disappointing losses because we blew a five-point lead with a minute to go,” said Beam.

Ripon Christian outscored Escalon 9-4 in the final frame to take a 35-33 win.

“The girls played hard and Ripon Christian has only lost once in league,” added the coach.

Thursday, the JV girls were on the home court and they battled Hilmar in a contest that often looked more like rugby than basketball, but came away with a 27-18 victory. It was 11-6 Escalon after one and 16-9 at the half. They kept Hilmar at bay over the third and fourth quarters to get the win.

“We had a solid effort by Shelby McCune, she had 17 points and this was one of the best games she has had,” said Beam.

The team was scheduled to be on the court for their final game, at home against Ripon on Tuesday, Feb. 17.

“Excited to play Ripon in that last game, the winner takes third in league,” Beam said.



Only one game was on the schedule for Escalon’s youngest basketball girls this past week, and they made the most of it, handling Hilmar in the Thursday, Feb. 12 contest. It was a 32-25 win for the freshmen.

“Madison Kindberg was our leading scorer with 14 points,” said coach Kacey Cheary.

Neither Mountain House or Ripon Christian have freshman teams, so the squad had just one TVL contest to play this week.

Escalon’s frosh were scheduled to host Ripon on Tuesday, Feb. 17 after The Times went to press, for their season finale.