Ending their season with a busy three-game stretch this past week, Escalon’s JV basketball boys won two out of the three.
That lifted them to an even 6-6 in Trans-Valley League play and for the season, they went 15-12 overall.
They were at Hughson on Tuesday, Feb. 6 and took a 63-37 win off the court.
After a tightly contested first half that saw the JV Cougars leading 26-22 at the break, head coach Nate Bartelink said they really poured it on coming out of the locker room.
“We did a great job on defense in the third quarter and that fueled our offense,” Bartelink explained. “Kaidence Trejo had three 3’s and 13 points in that quarter.”
The Cougars got some separation from the Huskies, going on a 23-12 run in the third quarter to lead it 49-34 heading into the final frame. They enjoyed a 14-3 scoring edge in the fourth quarter to leave Hughson with the big win.
“It was a great second half, we got a lot of guys playing time,” Bartelink said.
Leaders were Trejo with 18 points, Brenden Holmes had eight points and 12 rebounds, Dylan Ruiz added 12 points and Kaden Christensen had eight points and eight steals.
“He really ramped up his defensive pressure in the second half,” Bartelink added of Christensen setting the tone.
Thursday, the team was at home for their last game on the EHS court and they battled Hilmar to take a 55-49 victory.
“They played a zone we hadn’t seen in a while and though they kept it within six to 10 points, I still felt we were in pretty good control,” said the coach.
Hilmar had a 17-15 lead after the first quarter but from there it was all Escalon, outscoring the Yellowjackets 17-11 in the second to lead it 32-28 at the half, repeating the 17-11 edge in the third and getting the satisfying win.
Holmes, a freshman, had another solid game on the court for the JV squad, pouring in 15 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Trejo had 14 points, Clayton Ferreira chipped in with seven.
“Jacob Walden had six points, five rebounds and four assists, I thought he played his best game,” Bartelink said.
Friday, Feb. 9 the JV boys traveled to Mountain House and fell in their season finale to the host JV Mustangs, taking a 54-32 loss.
“The boys worked hard,” Bartelink pointed out. “They played some zone against us too but they were more athletic than Hilmar and they were rebounding really welly against us.”
Escalon was forced to take some shots outside the arc and that didn’t provide much success, hitting just 2-of-25 attempts. Mountain House was up 11-9 after one, 24-20 at the half but put some distance between them with a 19-8 run in the third, leading it 43-28 headed into the final period.
Trejo had 12 points and Walden added six in the loss.
“It was a disappointing way to end but it doesn’t take away from the success these kids have had this season,” Bartelink said.
A .500 mark in what turned out to be an intensely competitive TVL and an overall wining mark were highlights, but the best feeling of the season was winning the Cougar Christmas Classic championship back in late December, said Bartelink.
“It was a competitive year,” the coach added. “I hope they stick with it, it was a good group to coach, I’d like to see them keep developing their skills; they have some potential.”
Escalon’s frosh squad ended their campaign with a win and two losses during the final week. They were able to get a victory on the home court against Hilmar but took road losses to Hughson and Mountain House. Game scores and statistics were not available at press time.