After dropping a Tuesday night game, Jan. 9 to visiting Ripon Christian, the Escalon JV basketball boys put together an all-around solid game to get a win against Hughson on Friday night.
Hosting the Knights in the Tuesday game, head coach Nate Bartelink said his team just couldn’t keep up with their opponents and fell by a 56-39 final.
“They’ve got tall, lanky bodies and the driving lanes were smaller, the passing lanes tighter, we just couldn’t get past them very well,” Bartelink explained.
Ripon Christian roared out to a 15-4 edge in the first quarter and found themselves then trying to keep Ripon Christian’s freshman under control.
“They have a sophomore that just dropped down from varsity so we were keying on him,” explained Bartelink. “Their freshman scored all 15 points in the first quarter.”
Trying to change up the defense to guard against that freshman, they still had trouble, as the young player accounted for 28 of RC’s 30 first half points. Escalon found themselves down 30-21 at the half, battling back to within striking range with a 17-15 scoring edge in the second quarter. But the visitors stayed a few points better than the host team throughout the second half to pull away for the victory.
“They are the best JV team I have seen so far in the TVL,” Bartelink admitted.
To his team’s credit, the coach added, the Escalon JV boys played hard throughout the contest but RC just had a few too many weapons for them to overcome.
Clayton Ferreira had his best all-around game of the season and paced the JV Cougars with 10 points on the night. Kaidence Trejo added seven points and Damien Tom had a solid effort with six points and six rebounds.
Friday night, the JV Cougars got the outcome they have been looking for, putting the game in the win column. They hosted Hughson and more than doubled up the competition, winning by a 56-24 final, outmuscling and outhustling their opponent.
This time, it was Escalon running out to the lead, outscoring Hughson 14-5 over the first eight minutes. They held a 25-14 lead at the half and never really let the Huskies get into the game.
“Coming off winning our tournament, we kind of had to run the gauntlet of Riverbank, Ripon and Ripon Christian,” said Bartelink.
The JV boys won their own Christmas Classic tournament but then couldn’t get on track against the trio of tough TVL teams to start league play. They finally got the win they wanted in facing off with the Huskies.
“We were able to work some guys in that hadn’t had much playing time, we rotated and gave everyone minutes,” Bartelink said. “Everyone was part of the action.”
Kaden Christensen had 12 of his team’s 14 points in the first quarter and ended up with 17 total points to lead the JV team. Ferreira chipped in with 10 points, Trejo had nine and Ethan Johnson scored five points.
The JV team was scheduled to play at Hilmar on Tuesday, after The Times went to press and host Mountain House as part of Friday night’s Homecoming festivities, Jan. 19.
Escalon’s youngest basketball boys came away with wins in both their games this past week.
They opened up with a 58-48 victory over Ripon Christian. Leading just 14-10 after one quarter, the freshmen opened up a 27-15 lead at the half with a 13-5 run in the second quarter. Logan Webster had 20 points in the game to lead the team and Ty Snow added 13.
On Friday night, the young Cougars outscored the visiting Hughson Huskies by a dozen points in a high scoring contest, 72-60.
Escalon built up a 34-27 lead at the half and outscored Hughson in both the third and fourth quarters as well. Webster had 20 points in the win, Snow had 18, Demetrius Teixeira had 16 points, including four treys, and Ty Harris chipped in with 13 points.