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Tournament Play Sees One Win For JV Girls
Meeting with his team at halftime, new JV girls basketball head coach Robbie Leal offers some instruction on Thursday. The girls opened tournament play with a win against Waterford, but lost here to Amador. Marg Jackson/The Times

With new first-year coach Robbie Leal at the helm, the Escalon JV basketball girls kicked off their season with a 31-22 win over Waterford in the annual Pete Arellano Memorial Tournament, hosted by the Escalon Lions Club.

The game on Wednesday, Nov. 29 saw the JV squad hang tough against their Waterford opponents, finally pulling away with a strong fourth quarter run.

“It was pretty close until the fourth, we scored 11 points in that quarter,” Leal said.

Katie Karp paced the team with 11 points and Maddie Wall added six. Escalon was up just 12-9 at the half.

That put Escalon into the winner’s bracket and they took on Amador on Thursday. The game was a difficult one for both teams, as neither could get into any kind of rhythm. Multiple fouls were called on each side and Amador eventually escaped with a 25-24 win.

“There was a ridiculously high amount of free throws,” agreed Leal. “Trying to get into any kind of flow was hard.”

Karp was in double figures once again, scoring 10 for the young Lady Cougars. Kaylynn Cavanaugh added seven.

“They were trying to do the best they could,” Leal said of his squad. “With a lot of fouls, the girls didn’t know what they could or couldn’t do.”

Referees kept their whistles at the ready and the game had no flow, but Amador was just a little bit better at the free throw line, sealing the win.

With a 1-1 mark, the JV Lady Cougars went into Friday’s game against Ripon Christian and couldn’t muster much of an offensive attack against the Lady Knights.

“We lost 36-18,” Leal said. “Hunter Wheeler had six points to lead us.”

The RC defense kept Escalon under control, keeping them off the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. On the other side of the floor, the Lady Cougars had trouble stopping the offensive attack of their opponent.

“They were tired … frustrated on defense and that showed in our offense,” said Leal.