Only one of four games went in the win column for Escalon’s varsity boys basketball team this week. They lost a 65-53 decision to Calaveras on the home court Tuesday, Dec. 10 to start the busy schedule.
“We were intense, played at a high level,” said coach Martin Louro. “But we’re off to a bit of a rough start, getting off slower than we anticipated.”
Owen Pangilinan had 24 points in the game, Thomas Diniz and Stephen Silveira each contributed eight points to the total.
The team then went to the ‘ABC’ Tournament, Atwater-Buhach Colony for a trio of games, Thursday through Saturday.
“We had host Buhach, we wound up losing 64-60,” Louro said of the Thursday opener.
Escalon was up 27-22 at the half but Buhach closed out the third with a 7-0 run to take a 43-38 lead into the final frame.
“Our troubles right now, we’re very careless with the basketball, we are not doing the things we practice, not taking care of the ball,” Louro said of early season issues.
Pangilinan had 28 points in the game, Ben Hood added 10 and Marvin Lawrence put in eight.
That put the Cougars into the losers bracket, where they faced off with Mariposa on Friday and came out flat, digging a big early hole and trailing 34-14 at the half.
“We came out in second half and played hard, inspired and ended up losing by seven,” Louro said of the contest, adding that it was a “good wake up call” for the team. Silveira was leading scorer with 16 points, Pangilinan had 13 and Hood contributed nine.
In the final game of the tourney against Livingston, Escalon came out with a more solid effort and got the win, 63-56 on Saturday.
“Ben (Hood) had an excellent game all around, defensively he was all over the place, he played like a guy that was tired of losing,” said Louro. “That’s what we need, we really have to have that competitiveness to give us that edge.”
Hood had 21 points and was 11-for-12 from the free throw line. Silveira had 16, Pangilinan was also in double figures with 13.
Sam Lattig poured in 21 points as the JV boys took a 52-34 win over Calaveras on Dec. 10, hitting a trio of 3-point baskets. Trent Avilla had 12 and Caleb Hansen added 10.
“We played really well that game,” said coach Nate Bartelink, “we were up 22-10 at halftime.”
The team traveled to the Atwater tourney for the weekend as well, taking a 67-20 win over LeGrand in the opener, paced by the career-high 17 points from Garrett Nebe, who also had eight rebounds. Trevor Weinbrecht had eight points and good energy off the bench, with seven points from Luis Estrada and six each from Lattig and Kenny Wallace.
Friday, it was a 55-32 loss to Gregori, a solid team, with Lattig scoring 13 points against constant Gregori pressure.
“Saturday we were in the third place game against Mariposa,” Bartelink explained. “We won it 59-56 in overtime, our best game of the year.”
Trailing most of the way, the JV boys made up a late deficit and Hansen sank three free throws at the end of regulation to tie the game and send it into OT, with Escalon winning the game. Avilla had 19 points, Lattig 12 and Hansen added 11.
The JV boys are now 4-4.
The youngest Cougars lost to Calaveras on Tuesday and then went to the Amador Tournament, winning one game and losing two there.
Teams were scheduled to play at Argonaut on Tuesday, then the varsity will be at the Carmel Invitational Thursday through Saturday and the JV boys go to the Johansen Tournament those days.