Riverbank came to town and spoiled the varsity basketball Homecoming, taking an 80-60 win off the court from the Cougar boys on Friday night, Jan. 27.
“They had two 20-plus point quarters, they had 22 in the first and 24 in the third,” head coach Martin Louro said of the visiting Bruins. “We played hard, had intensity, they just made it really tough for us to do what we wanted to do.”
Riverbank had a 22-13 lead after one quarter and went up 39-24 at the half. The Cougars were resilient, though, finding ways to get the score closer at times during the contest but then Riverbank would go on a run to stretch it out again.
“They keyed on Tommy (Pangan) but he still had 16 points,” Louro said of the Bruins focusing on the Cougars’ leading scorer. “That was about seven points less than his average; they disrupted things just enough.”
Both games in league play facing off with Riverbank saw them shoot extremely well against the Cougars, added Louro.
“Maybe we didn’t make them tough enough shots for them,” said the coach.
Riverbank sank eight three-point shots on the night to Escalon’s six and the Bruins were tough inside.
“They were able to get to the rim, they are very athletic and a skilled team,” Louro said.
Pangan paced the Cougar effort with his 16 points, followed by Estephan Salcedo with 12.
“Nick Lattig added seven points and he has been playing pretty well for us the last few games, he’s athletic and mobile, he has shown growth and improvement,” noted Louro. “He’s a junior; we have a lot of juniors so we’ll have a lot of experience next year.”
Despite taking the loss on their Homecoming night, the coach said the team battled hard and never gave up the fight.
“I was happy with the effort, we just didn’t take enough shots,” Louro said.
A pair of home games were on the schedule for this week, the Cougars were slated to host Ripon Christian on Tuesday, Jan. 31 after The Times went to press and will be back on the home court Friday, Feb. 3 to tip off against Ripon in a 7:30 p.m. contest.
Louro said he expects both games to be competitive, especially the Friday night game against longtime rival Ripon.
“We’re going to play hard,” he said.
Held to single digit scoring in the first and second quarters, the Escalon JV basketball boys dug too deep a hole to get out of on Friday night. Though they battled back and outscored their opponent over the third and fourth quarters, the final score was Riverbank 66, Escalon 43.
“We just didn’t show up in the first half,” JV head coach Nate Bartelink explained. “We had 18 turnovers.”
Visiting Riverbank jumped on the chance to take the win on Escalon’s Homecoming Night on Jan. 27, racing out to a commanding 18-5 lead in the first quarter, 39-11 at the half.
“The frustration is at a pretty high level,” Bartelink admitted, with the Cougars unable to stop the Bruins in the first half and unable to get into any kind of offensive rhythm of their own.
“They had six three’s in the first half,” Bartelink said of the JV Bruin sharpshooters, comfortable from beyond the arc. They added four more in the second half, nearly half of their points coming off the long range shots.
Down by 28 at the half, Bartelink said his team did come out of the locker room with a better effort, outscoring Riverbank 16-12 in the third quarter and 16-15 in the fourth.
“We played with some pride and some heart,” the coach said of the second half showing. “I thought Clayton Ferreira had a great game, he had 12 points including 10 in the second half, he played confident, played aggressive. Also, Anthony LaRossa got the start and contributed four points.”
Sam Fletcher had eight points, with Zach Pickett and Frank Leal each adding five.
There was some second half pushing and shoving in the match as well, though referees were able to keep the players contained at the end. Bartelink pointed to his team’s frustration as being part of it, while Riverbank also responded with some aggression.
“We’re scuffling,” noted Bartelink. “We really hope to find ourselves; we need to play with some character and pride.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the team, as they were scheduled to host Ripon Christian on Tuesday night, Jan. 31 after The Times went to press and will play host to Ripon on Friday night, Feb. 3 in a 6 p.m. contest.
With just one game on their schedule for the week, the youngest Cougars made the most of their opportunity, putting away Riverbank on Friday, 58-29. They were the only one of the three Cougar squads that put a Homecoming win on the scoreboard against the visiting Bruins.
“Jacob Walden played great. He had 18 points and 12 rebounds,” said coach Dave Anderson. “Kaidence Trejo had 16, hitting four three-point shots. It was a great all around effort.”