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One Basketball Win Captured By Lady Cougar Squads
In a rough week for girls basketball, the freshman, JV and varsity squads came up with just one win in six chances.

The JV girls were winners over Riverbank on Monday, Jan. 30 but that was the sole victory in contests pitting all three levels against Riverbank and Ripon.

"We beat them pretty handily," JV coach Andrew Beam said of hosting and defeating the Riverbank girls. "We beat them 49-19."

Claudia Gomez was leading scorer with 16 points and the game also featured the first points of the season for Lori Kroon.

"She had three points, a basket and a free throw, everybody was really excited for her," Beam said of Kroon getting on the score sheet. Traveling to Ripon to face the undefeated Lady Indians on Thursday, Feb. 2, it was a tight game but ultimately went into the loss column by a 29-24 decision.

"We were down 20-3 at one point," Beam noted. "We only gave up one point in the third quarter and we got to within three points at one time, we just didn't quite have enough to come back."

The team played probably its worst first half of basketball this season at Ripon, then came back with their best second half, Beam said of the effort. Rachel Larsen was in double figures with 10 points, Gomez and Maddy Costa put in six apiece as the JV Lady Cougars made it close, but didn't get the win they wanted.

At the varsity level, head coach Joseph Dalpogetti saw his team take a 50-33 loss at home against Riverbank and then battle in a 42-28 loss to Ripon.

"Riverbank was much closer than the 17-point deficit says," noted Dalpogetti. "It was an 8-point game most of the way."

Riverbank had a 10-8 lead after one and were up 23-13 at the half. Escalon outscored the Bruins 12-10 in the third to make it 33-25, but the Riverbank team stepped it up in the fourth. Escalon was outshot at the free throw line, 27 shots to 12 and Olivia Luu had 23 points. For Escalon leaders were Kaitlin DaDalt with 12 points, Kaitlyn Kelly with eight.

On the road for the Thursday game with Ripon, it was a 19-13 Indian lead at the half, and they built on it from there, but the varsity girls made it interesting.

"Adalia Cajias had 10 points, DaDalt had nine points and 12 rebounds," Dalpogetti said. "We were outshot at the free throw line five to 19 but we played them close for three quarters, which is good considering they are the number two small school and top four seed in the Division 4 power ratings."

The freshmen fell 35-23 to Riverbank with a 12-point effort from Leone Rivers the highlight of the Jan. 30 game.

Thursday at Ripon it was a 51-22 loss, with five players contributing to the scoring.

"When we got back on defense we did a good job," said coach Kristie Cathcart. "They got most of their points on fast breaks and continued to fast break the whole game."

Kaitlynn Mayfield had six points while everyone else that scored had four including Jasmin Elisalde, Lindsay Miranda, Bonnie Head and Leone Rivers.

The three teams were scheduled to be on the road at Orestimba on Monday, after the Times went to press and will be home to host Hughson on Thursday, Feb. 9.

Freshmen start the action at 4:30 p.m., followed by JV at 6 p.m. and varsity at 7:30 p.m.