Hosting Calaveras on Dec. 8, the game went down as a 70-40 loss for Escalon’s JV basketball boys. Once again, turnovers were an issue.
“They are a really good team,” head coach Nate Bartelink said of Calaveras, but said his team also hurt themselves in the contest.
“We had 26 turnovers, had a hard time possessing the ball. You put your defense in a tough spot when you turn the ball over that many times.”
The JV boys were down 26-2 after one quarter of play but battled back with a 17-5 run in the second, with a 31-19 deficit at the half.
“The game was just a little too fast for us,” the coach admitted.
Calaveras went on to outscore the Cougars 25-15 in the third and 14-6 in the fourth for the 30-point win.
Max Nicholas had nine points in the loss, Nic Lattig added seven and Steven Gross had five.
Traveling for the Atwater Tournament on Thursday, the JV battled in a close game against host Atwater, falling 50-42.
“We had one bad quarter,” Bartelink said of being outscored 22-3 in the third quarter, after trailing just 27-24 at the half.
Sahil Prasad had 12 points, Estephan Salcedo had 11 and Grossi chipped in with six.
“The kids are working hard, staying positive,” Bartelink said, though he noted that they also had 30 turnovers in the game with Atwater.
Friday, they faced off against second host Buhach Colony and again took the loss, this time falling in a 54-40 final.
“We had 24 turnovers, we are shooting ourselves in the foot,” said Bartelink.
Down 11-9 after one, the JV Cougars saw Buhach go on a 22-10 run in the second to take a 33-19 lead at the half.
“We are seeing better things,” admitted Bartelink. “We kept it within reach.”
The teams matched point for point in the second half, and Escalon got nine points from three different players. Prasad, Salcedo and Lorenzo Martinez were the leading scorers, Nicholas had eight points.
Saturday’s game saw the JV boys get a much-needed victory, as they topped Delhi 49-26.
“We had a slow start but it was nice for the kids and I got to see them smile,” Bartelink said. “We were the more talented team, we made them take tough shots and this was the first time everyone has played and eight of our 10 kids scored.”
Salcedo paced the team with 14 points, Prasad had 13 and Lattig added six.
Escalon had a 12-8 lead on Delhi after one, 26-13 at the half and outscored the Hawks in every quarter.
“We are getting better, we just need to stay consistent,” Bartelink said.