A busy week brought the season to a close for the Escalon junior varsity basketball girls, the squad falling in two games at home and one on the road.
“Tuesday we opened with Hughson at home and the first half wasn’t too bad, we were down 23-13 at the half,” said head coach Robbie Leal. “Katie Karp had 11 points in the first half and Maddie Johnson had two free throws.”
The second half saw just two more points for the Escalon squad, while Hughson nearly doubled their first half output, winning the game by a 45-15 final.
“We just started throwing the ball at the backboard, at the other team,” Leal admitted of the tough second half.
Thursday, the girls were on the road and played better than earlier in the week but still took a loss, this time a 38-16 decision to Hilmar.
“It was 2-2 for the first five minutes of the game, then Hilmar went on a run and it was 12-2 after one quarter,” Leal explained.
One Hilmar player did a lot of damage, scoring 15 points against the JV girls, but Leal said his team continued to look for good shots in the second half and battled until the final buzzer.
“Katie Karp had 10 points and Hunter Wheeler had five points,” Leal noted.
Friday, the JV girls closed out their season by hosting Mountain House and falling to the visiting JV Lady Mustangs by a 55-25 final.
“They are a much more skilled team, but we didn’t stop playing,” the coach said.
Wheeler had eight points, Mya Scott chipped in with seven and Kalynn Cavanaugh had six.
“It was 36-14 at halftime, we competed the entire way,” Leal said.
The JV girls went 4-8 in league play and compiled a 6-19 overall record.
Leal, who was in his first year of serving as head coach, said it was a “good first season” despite the win-loss record.
In terms of knowledge and learning the game, Leal said from player one to player 13 on the team, the girls were able to better understand the game and what to do in a variety of situations. Since Escalon has no freshman team, the freshmen and sophomores are combined in the JV team, which means many of the youngest players haven’t had much practical game experience.
“In many cases it was teaching them the game,” Leal said.
He said the girls also learned that it will take work on the court during the offseason to put together a stronger team next year.