Opening up the Trans-Valley League season at home, the Escalon varsity Lady Cougars basketball team had a satisfying victory over Riverbank to notch their first league win of the campaign. The final score was 60-22, with the home team up 35-15 at the half and extending that lead to an overwhelming 52-20 edge after three.
“They’re struggling a little bit this year, but they play hard and they have a couple of solid players so we knew we had to come out strong and be consistent throughout the game,” said head coach Joseph Dalpogetti. “We didn't want a repeat of the TVL opener last year against them where we had to score with 23 seconds left to win. They got us off our game a little from the start because we had a couple of players in quick foul trouble but we did a great job of adapting to some new roles in the first half.”
Jenelle Anderson had 11 points and six assists to lead the attack. Shelby McCune had 12 points and eight rebounds to along with four blocks. Alyssa Strock had 10 points and eight rebounds, while Haley Boyd had eight points, 11 rebounds, and five steals.
“We lost to Ripon on Thursday 36-25,” Dalpogetti said of the team’s road game later in the week. “We were up 13-7 early, and then we had our two leading scorers get into foul trouble and we were forced to sit them for extended minutes in the first half.”
Escalon found themselves down 24-15 at the half.
“We were able to cut it to two in the second half but could never retake the lead,” noted Dalpogetti. “We battled foul trouble all night from Jenelle Anderson and Shelby McCune, who contribute to nearly half of our scoring, they both eventually fouled out.”
The coach noted that the varsity squad played so many games in December against full court pressing teams, they weren’t really prepared for a team that was bigger than they were and packed it in defensively, daring them to shoot from the outside.
The squad was led in scoring by Jenelle Anderson with 14 points and Shelby McCune with six.
The girls are scheduled to host Hughson in a 7:30 p.m. contest on Thursday, Jan. 12.
With just one game on their schedule for the week, as Riverbank does not field a JV team, the Escalon JV Lady Cougars were on the road Thursday for their TVL opener.
“We played Ripon. We lost 37-30. It was very close back and forth all game,” said coach Thomas O’Hare. “We should have only lost by two but they kind of gave up under the one-minute mark and (Ripon) had some easy baskets.”
Alexa Gomez paced the team with 12 points; Hannah Boyd added 10 points and Leila Phillips chipped in with eight points.