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Tournament Action Tough For Lady Cougar Hoops
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JV player Maddy Johnson works to dribble the ball and get past the defender in earlier season action at home. The team went to the East Union Tournament over the weekend and met up with some tough opponents. Marg Jackson/The Times

It was a rough tournament weekend for Escalon’s Lady Cougars on the basketball court, with the varsity girls winning just one of three games and the JV squad going 0-for-3.

The varsity Lady Cougars headed to the Antioch Tournament with games Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

They opened up against Rancho Cotate on Thursday, falling by a 60-20 decision.

“They were just bigger, faster and stronger than we were,” said head coach Joseph Dalpogetti. “They trapped off misses and makes so we had a difficult time getting into an offense.”

Friday, the girls battled West High School of Tracy and escaped with a one-point win in a tightly contested low scoring game, 28-27.

“We closed the game on an 11-0 run,” Dalpogetti said of coming from behind to get the victory.

Saturday, it was a different story, as the Lady Cougars had the early lead but then went cold.

“We lost 35-27 to Benicia High School,” said Dalpogetti. “We led most of the game but then we couldn’t find the bottom of the net in the fourth quarter.”

The weekend of low scoring efforts saw no player on the varsity roster having more than seven points in any one of the games.

Sylvia Guevara was a standout for the squad, earning All-Tournament Team honors.

The varsity was scheduled to travel to Bret Harte on Tuesday, Dec. 12 after The Times went to press for their only contest of the week.

At the JV level, the girls traveled to nearby Manteca for the East Union Tournament and had a tough go of it there, losing all three contests.

“We lost to East Union 40-24,” said first year head coach Robbie Leal.

Maddie Wall had six points to pace the JV girls.

The next game was against Ripon Christian and it was a 10-point loss, 30-20.

Despite the double digit loss, Leal said it could have been much worse.

“It was 28-10 heading into the fourth quarter,” he said, adding that his team got a little bit of a talking to going into the final frame.

The discussion worked, as the JV girls climbed back into contention, outscoring Ripon Christian 10-2 over the final eight minutes.

“Hustling worked for us,” he said.

Hunter Wheeler, Lia Wraught and Wall each had four points in the game.

In the final tourney game, the JV girls fell 30-15 to Ceres. Maddy Johnson had four points, Mya Scott added three.

“We were breaking presses, getting good looks, just not hitting the shots,” Leal said of what he saw from his team during the tournament. “We just have not had a lot of time in practice to work on our shots.”

The team also had to deal with some injuries in the Ceres game, which didn’t help their chances.

This week, they were scheduled for just one game, on the road Tuesday, Dec. 12 at Bret Harte. Leal said he was looking forward to four days of practice with the team to have more time to focus on shooting and getting ready for the next game.