Escalon’s varsity girls claimed the consolation championship at the West Coast Jamboree, winning a 49-37 contest over California School for the Deaf of Fremont in action on Monday, Dec. 30. Claudia Gomez paced the team with 17 points, Jenelle Anderson was in double digits with 11, while Maggie Casteel and Lindsay Miranda each had seven.
“Claudia was named to the All Tournament Team,” coach Joe Dalpogetti said of a solid three games logged by the senior over the multi-day tourney. Escalon went 2-1 in the tournament to take the consolation championship. They were steady all the way through, outscoring the Fremont school 10-8, 15-9 and 14-10 over the first three quarters, tying them 10-10 in the fourth.
Friday, Jan. 3 they opened up Trans-Valley League play at home, hosting Ripon, and took a hard fought 37-31 loss.
“We matched them in the first quarter,” Dalpogetti said of the Indians having just an 11-10 lead after one. “Then they had a 7-0 run in the second and we started turning the ball over due to their pressure.”
By the team the buzzer sounded for the half, it was a 20-14 Ripon lead and they built on that in the third, surging to an 11-3 scoring advantage in that frame to lead 31-17 after three. Escalon battled back with a 14-6 scoring edge in the fourth, but couldn’t quite make up the deficit.
“We cut it to five points with about 90 seconds to go but then we had to foul,” Dalpogetti said.
Gomez paced the team with 13 points, Anderson had 10 and Casteel put in six points, all in the fourth quarter.
Escalon was scheduled to play at Riverbank on Monday, Jan. 6 after The Times went to press and will be at Orestimba to continue league play on Thursday, Jan. 9.
After falling behind 8-2 in the first quarter, the JV girls battled back with a 10-5 run against Ripon in the second quarter and trailed just 13-12 at halftime. A solid third quarter saw the host JV Lady Cougars go on a 7-2 run, leading 19-15 after three. But Ripon found a way to take the game, outscoring Escalon 9-4 in the fourth on Friday, winning by a 24-23 final.
Six different players scored for Escalon and they battled back with a couple of clutch free throws late in the game, trimming the lead to 23-21 with 12 seconds remaining. But two more free throws with 10 seconds left didn’t fall and a pair of late putbacks just wouldn’t get into the net for the squad as the buzzer sounded with Ripon clinging to the one-point lead.
“It was a good, hard game but I felt we let one slip away,” said coach Andrew Beam. “We will get them next time.”
Natalie Gonzalez had six points to lead the team, with five apiece from Natalie Arnold and Taylor Harris.
Friday’s game against Ripon went into the loss column for the youngest Lady Cougars. The freshmen fell, 45-23, though they had a 10-5 lead after the first quarter.
“We came out strong,” said coach Kristie Cathcart. “We used a half-court trap and caused a lot of turnovers and scored against their press in the first quarter.”
As the game wore on, however, the coach said Ripon was able to make adjustments and Escalon didn’t, leading to the loss.
Ripon had a 20-5 scoring edge in the second quarter to lead it 25-15 at the half and put the game away with a strong 11-2 run over the final eight minutes.
Viri Berumen had nine points for Escalon in the loss, with eight from Gabby Avalos, two each from Ashleigh Strand, Monique Suarez and Mackenzie Stagno.
The frosh were slated to play Riverbank on Monday, Jan. 6 after The Times went to press.