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Road Game In Loss Column For Varsity Girls
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Down 11-4 after one quarter, Escalon's varsity Lady Cougars fought back but could never make up the early deficit in losing 34-27 at Linden on Thursday.

It was the only game on the schedule for the squad after a hectic first week of games and tournament play, traveling to Linden for the contest.

"We really need to work on our shooting rhythm," explained coach Gary Ball. "Our record at 3-2 is still pretty good but we have some major concerns."

Ball coaches the varsity, assisted by Steve French, and said both are worried about the girls getting into a solid offensive groove. So far this season, defense hasn't been too much of a problem but putting points on the board has been.

Linden started out with a fast attack in the opening quarter and put in 11 points, Escalon could manage just four. They stepped up a bit in the second and trimmed the deficit to 16-13 at the half. Linden rebounded with a solid third quarter, outscoring the Lady Cougars 15-8 in that frame to pull away.

"We got behind from the get go," agreed Ball. "We were down 10-2 at one point."

Lauren Brown came through with eight points to lead Escalon, with the next best contributions coming from Kelly Colin and Kacey Ball with four points each. Eight different players broke into the scoring column.

"We caused some problems with our trapping defense and our defense is good right now," Ball said. "One of the frustrations is that we have continued to work on offensive schemes, they're just not coming together."

Ball added that the team, as a whole, has to do a better job of putting past mistakes behind them.

"When we make mistakes, we can't let them go," he pointed out. "I think it's a matter of us settling in offensively, we need to get some confidence."

In the team's first five games, the Lady Cougars have not had one shooter able to consistently hit from 10 to 15 feet out, the coach said.

"We really need to work on our outside shots and I don't mean our 3-pointers, I mean from foul line range out," he said.

If the squad can get the shooting game going, it should complement the defense. The girls will have an opportunity to get back on the court Thursday night, Dec. 16, hosting Pitman. They will travel to Denair on Tuesday, Dec. 21 for the final game before the holiday break.