A road trip to Mountain House didn’t produce the results the girls were hoping for – as both Lady Cougar basketball teams came up on the wrong end of the final score in the Tuesday, Jan. 26 contests.
Escalon’s varsity girls fell by a final of 56-50 to the host Lady Mustangs.
“We got off to a good start,” Escalon head coach Joseph Dalpogetti said. “At two different points in the first half we had eight-point leads. We just couldn’t sustain it.”
The visiting lady Cougars were up 15-14 after the first quarter and still held the lead, 28-26 at the break. Mountain House took the lead with a small run in the third, outscoring Escalon 13-9 to grab the advantage 39-37 heading into the final quarter.
“Second half their full court pressure got to us a little bit,” admitted Dalpogetti.
Mountain House sealed the win with a slight 17-13 scoring edge over the final eight minutes to take the game by six.
“We played hard and I was proud of the effort,” Dalpogetti added. “But they (Mountain House) were superior athletically and we battled and had chances but failed to make plays down the stretch when the opportunities were there.”
Escalon did have three players in double figures on the night paced by Jenelle Anderson with 17. Sarah Leal had 12; Justine Lawrence added 11 and Shelby McCune chipped in with seven points in the first half finale for Trans-Valley League play.
Escalon has played hard in each game the first round and have pushed all TVL teams, with all their league losses coming by single digits. There are things to clean up for the second half in order to make a run for the playoffs, said the coach, with the team capable of getting there and capable of beating any other team in league on any given night.
Three teams from the TVL will advance to playoffs; Escalon will need to get on a bit of a roll in order to secure a spot. They were scheduled to open up second half play on the road, taking on Riverbank in Tuesday night action, Feb. 2 after The Times went to press.
They will be back on the road on Thursday, Feb. 4 at Ripon and then come back home to host Ripon Christian on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
With a record of 2-4 for the first half of league play, Escalon’s four losses came by a combined total of 17 points, the largest margin being the six-point loss to Mountain House. Two losses were by three points, a 33-30 loss at Ripon Christian, 49-46 to Hilmar, and a five-point loss to Ripon. They topped Riverbank 46-42 in the first round and put away Hughson by a 56-35 final on the road.
It was a tough night for the younger Cougar girls as well, falling by just one bucket; final score was 25-23 in favor of the host Mountain House team in the Jan. 26 contest. The same as their older counterparts, the JV girls have had a number of close games in Trans-Valley League play already this season. They will look to get on track for the second half with a game at Riverbank on Tuesday night as well. Against Mountain House, they just couldn’t find a way to get the final few points necessary to push them to the win. Leila Phillips had six points to lead the JV girls, Emily McPherrin added five.