Four games over four days saw plenty of basketball played by the varsity Lady Cougars.
They headed to the 16-team Tracy Tournament and started off with a Wednesday, Dec. 27 game against McKinleyville.
“They are a small, scrappy team and they put on full court pressure,” said head coach Joseph Dalpogetti. “It was a 38-29 loss and the third quarter, they outscored us 12-5, that’s where we lost it.”
Shelby McCune had 16 points for Escalon in the loss, Daisy Camacho added six.
Thursday, the girls bounced back with a victory over Downey, taking a 32-26 win off the court.
“We were down by two at the half and in the first third quarter we outscored them 2-0, a real barn burner,” Dalpogetti said.
Escalon also outscored Downey 11-5 in the fourth quarter to seal the win in tournament play. Brooke Campbell had 10 points and Leila Phillips added seven.
Friday, the girls took on Silver Creek out of San Jose and fell by a 46-14 final, unable to get anything going offensively.
“They were a much more athletic team, quicker, bigger, stronger,” Dalpogetti said. “We were down eight after one but we made them earn it, we play hard, that’s never a question with this team, and they are very coachable.”
The Lady Cougars had a chance to pull within seven points in the third quarter but missed some free throws and easy shots, allowing Silver Creek to pull away.
“In the fourth quarter they outscored us by 14 points,” said the coach.
Campbell and McCune had four points apiece in the lopsided loss.
Closing out the flurry of games on Saturday, Dec. 30, Escalon lost a 49-38 contest to Tokay of Lodi. Playing without Priscilla Nowling and Hannah Boyd, the team went in a little undermanned and Dalpogetti said it made a difference. Campbell also had to sit for a quarter to shake off the effects of an injury, further depleting the scoring for the squad.
“We were up 11-6 in the first,” Dalpogetti said of taking the early lead.
Tokay outscored the Escalon girls 15-7 in the second quarter to take a 21-18 lead at the half so the game was still well within reach.
“We both exploded in the third quarter, they outscored us 22-18 in the third,” said the coach, with the Lodi school able to hang on for the win.
Part of the issue was having to guard against Tokay’s 6-1 post player and while Escalon did a good job keeping her under control, that allowed one of their guards to pour in 21 points in the contest.
Sylvia Guevara had 11 points in the finale for Escalon, Camacho had eight, with Emily McPherrin putting in seven.
The tournament closed out preseason play for the varsity girls and now they get ready for Trans-Valley League action.
“We open it up with two tough league games, we go to Riverbank on Wednesday, they’ll threaten for the league title this year, and we host Ripon at home on Thursday,” Dalpogetti said of the Jan. 3 and 4 games.
Game time for the contests is 7:30 p.m.