In a busy week leading up to the Christmas holiday, the Escalon varsity and JV basketball girls were on the court for three games apiece. The varsity squad put all three of their contests in the win column, while the JV girls won their first game of the week, followed by a pair of losses.
None of the games were very high-scoring, but Escalon came out on top of all three non-league varsity contest this week.
They were home to host Franklin of Stockton on Monday, Dec. 18 and won by a 30-11 final. “It was 9-2 after the first, 15-3 at halftime,” explained head coach Joseph Dalpogetti.
Franklin of Stockton players had trouble finding the net and were still in single digits after three periods, down 22-7. Escalon outscored the visitors 8-4 in the final frame for the win.
Shelby McCune paced the varsity girls with an 11-point night and also pulled down 13 rebounds. Sylvia Guevara had six points and Brooke Campbell came away with five steals.
Wednesday, the girls took on Summerville and won a hard fought game, 41-39. Close all the way through, the varsity squad found themselves trailing 8-7 after one, 21-17 at the half. They rebounded with a 12-7 third quarter edge, leading 29-28 heading into the final frame. The teams continued to battle but Escalon had the edge, 12-11, in the fourth for the two-point win. Guevara got the put back on an offensive rebound with about 10 seconds to play to put the host team up by a pair. Summerville took a time out in the closing seconds to try and set up for the tying or winning shot but was unable to convert.
McCune had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Campbell and Guevara added seven points apiece.
Rounding out the week, the girls took on Galt on Thursday, Dec. 21 and won the game by a 44-30 final. McCune took control of the contest, dropping in 20 points on the night to give her a solid week of work. Emily McPherrin and Daisy Camacho added seven points each in the win.
“We were up 27-11 at halftime,” Dalpogetti noted. “They outscored us 12-6 in the third but then we outscored them 11-7 in the fourth.”
Escalon will take part in the Tracy Tournament this week, playing four games Wednesday through Saturday, eyeing more competition as they prepare for the upcoming Trans-Valley League schedule.
Dalpogetti said getting three wins this past week was a good confidence booster for the squad.
“It was what we set out to do at the beginning of the week,” he said.
With a win over Franklin of Stockton to start the week, the young JV Lady Cougars couldn’t repeat the formula and fell to Summerville and Galt to close out their contests.
“It could have been a lot prettier,” first year head coach Robbie Leal said of a 19-14 win against Franklin on Dec. 18. “We were a much better team than they were.”
Scoring was spread around and the JV girls could have had more points but went just 1-for-14 at the free throw line.
Wednesday, the girls couldn’t get into any kind of rhythm and lost to an overpowering Summerville squad, 47-14.
“We were just outclassed,” Leal admitted. “They were a much better team, one girl had 16 points against us, mostly off lay-ups and steals.”
Summerville was not only tall, they were also fast, overwhelming the JV Cougar girls.
Hunter Wheeler accounted for much of Escalon’s scoring, with seven points on the night.
“We were getting some open looks and lay-ups, we just were not making them,” Leal added.
Thursday against Galt, the JV girls put up a fight and fell just a little bit short, losing that game by a 32-29 final.
“We had a chance to tie it, we took a 3-point shot but it missed right,” Leal explained.
Still, the coach said he was pleased with some of the hard work and determination he saw from his squad.
“At one point we were down by 10 points but we pulled it back close,” he said.
Wheeler again was the high scorer for Escalon with 10 points, Riley McNulty added eight.
The girls will play this week in the Ripon Tournament, Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 28 through 30 before opening up Trans-Valley League play after the start of the New Year.