A thriller on the home court.
There’s no other way to describe Thursday’s JV girls basketball game.
“We won by four points, it was a double overtime thriller,” explained head coach Robbie Leal.
Escalon hosted Riverbank and came away with a 47-43 victory in the Trans-Valley League contest on Jan. 25.
“We had quite a few girls in double figures,” Leal added.
The last time the two JV teams met up, Escalon built up a double digit lead and then had to hang on as Riverbank came roaring back late in the game. Escalon won that game by one point. This time, they found themselves in a similar circumstance, with a lead that Riverbank chipped away at in the fourth quarter, tying the game at the end. The teams battled through the first overtime, trading points, then Escalon took control in the second OT period.
“Katie Karp had 12 points, including a big three-pointer,” said Leal. “Hunter Wheeler had 13 points, she was 3-for-5 from the free throw line, those clutch free throws were very important for us, too.”
Kalynn Cavanaugh came off the bench to provide some spark, adding eight points to the total.
“She was able to get some shots up and make them when others couldn’t get the shots,” Leal said.
Escalon had a 16-9 lead at the half, and was up by a 22-15 margin going into the fourth quarter.
“It was quite an interesting halftime talk,” Leal said. “I told them not to take their foot off the gas.”
Riverbank, however, found a way to get back in the game and got it tied up before the final buzzer to end regulation.
“They just started doing whatever they wanted,” admitted Leal. “It was a dogfight in the first overtime, they went up, we tied it up … in double overtime, we went up right away and never lost the lead.”
The game was a fun one, the coach said, especially for the Escalon players, coaches and fans.
“I’m glad we came out on top,” Leal added.
The JV girls were scheduled to host Ripon Christian on Tuesday, Jan. 30 after The Times went to press and will be at Ripon for a Thursday, Feb. 1 contest with a 6 p.m. tip off time.