Thursday and Friday saw losses for the Escalon varsity basketball boys, but they came back to salvage one game, getting a win on Saturday in the Columbia Tournament.
Escalon opened up against Stagg on Thursday, Dec. 27.
“They beat us, 71-36,” said head coach Nate Bartelink. “We’re having a tough time scoring, we’re just not finishing our shots consistently.”
Stagg took a 20-8 lead after one and were up 35-21 at the half, then put the game away with another 20-8 run in the third period. Escalon was paced by Kameron DeWeerd with 14 points, Miguel Marmol had six points, Brad DaDalt also put in six.
“Stagg was good, they hit 12 3’s, they shot pretty well,” said Bartelink.
Friday, Escalon and Ceres took the court against each other, with Ceres outlasting the Cougars, 48-40.
“We played better defense and it was a much better effort,” Bartelink added.
The Cougars trailed 13-8 after one and 25-16 at the half, then outscored Ceres 10-6 in the third to trail just 31-26 entering the final quarter.
“We battled from behind, we cut it down to three or four points in the fourth but it seems like every time we needed that extra stop, we could just never get it and they would hit a 3 and go up by seven again,” Bartelink said.
Brenden Holmes had 21 points in the game, including five 3’s, DaDalt had six and Mikey Carroll and Colton Panero each put in five.
On Saturday, Dec. 29, the varsity boys wrapped up their trip to Columbia with a win. They defeated Summerville by a 41-39 final.
“It was a hard fought battle,” Bartelink noted.
Escalon jumped out to a 13-9 in the first quarter and went up 25-19 at the half in the low-scoring contest. Summerville came out of the break strong and outscored Escalon 10-2 in the third to take a 29-27 lead into the final quarter.
“We played a good fourth,” the coach noted, with his team coming away with the win by virtue of outscoring Summerville 14-10 over the final eight minutes.
“We got down by five with a couple minutes left, Kam DeWeerd hit a three to tie the game late,” Bartelink said, adding that Frank Leal then got a steal, with a layup by DaDalt putting Escalon back into the lead.
Holmes had 17 points in the win, including five 3’s, with nine points from DeWeerd and six from DaDalt. Panero and Carroll had four points each.
“We haven’t been scoring a lot but we’ll take the win any way we can get it,” Bartelink said of salvaging one game of the tournament. The 41 points was their highest point total of the three contests.
Now 6-11 overall, the Cougars get back to Trans-Valley League play this week; they head to Ripon Christian for a Friday night game, Jan. 4.