Two out of three games went into the loss column for Escalon’s JV basketball boys this past week. But head coach Nate Bartelink was pleased with the effort in two out of those three contests.
Playing in the Johansen Tournament, the JV squad started off with their worst game of the three, falling by a 47-31 final to Enochs on Monday, Dec. 21.
“We had no passion, no energy,” said Bartelink. “The defense was fine there was just not enough energy on offense.”
Down 13-6 after one, the Cougars were still in the game, trailing 25-19 at the half despite a subpar performance over the first two quarters. Enochs, however, essentially put the game away with a 9-3 run in the third and stayed a bucket better, 13-11, in the fourth.
Sahil Prasad had 15 points in the loss, Max Nicholas and Estephan Salcedo scored five each.
Tuesday, taking on Livingston, it was a 55-39 win for the young Cougars.
“We played a complete game,” explained Bartelink. “We slowly but surely pulled away.”
Escalon had a 15-13 lead after one, 27-20 at the half.
“We played the best defense we have all year, they responded after the tough loss to Enochs,” Bartelink said.
The JV boys outscored Livingston 28-19 over the third and fourth quarters, paced by the 14-point, nine-rebound night from Salcedo. Prasad had 12 points, Nic Lattig and Lorenzo Martinez each put in eight points in the win.
Wednesday, the JV boys wrapped up the tournament play with a game against Golden Valley of Merced.
“We played well, played even better defense than we did against Livingston but we struggled offensively,” Bartelink said of taking a hard fought 42-38 loss.
Taking a 10-4 lead after one and 20-8 at the half, Escalon wasn’t able to hang on, as Golden Valley came alive in the fourth quarter and made up the early deficit and more.
“We fell back into some of our old bad habits in the fourth and that taught us that we have to put four quarters together,” said Bartelink. “We need to learn how to finish games and be smarter with our decisions.”
Salcedo paced the team with 14 points.
The team, this week, is hosting its Escalon Cougar Christmas Classic. Games were already played Monday and Tuesday, after The Times went to press, and wrap up with the final round today, Wednesday, Dec. 30.
“It will be a very competitive tournament, a lot of big schools are coming,” said Bartelink.