By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Second Place Finish For Freshman Hoops
Placeholder Image
Kicking off their competitive season with a trip to the three-day Ceres Tournament, the freshman basketball boys won two out of three games and came home with second place honors.

They took the court for the first of their three games on Wednesday, Dec. 1, facing off against Ceres.

"We won 47-46," said coach Nate Bartelink. "We were down by seven points with three minutes to go and we battled back, Garrett Hawkins made two free throws with two seconds to go...I was pretty proud of them."

Jake Loureiro led the team with 13 points, Nick Aprile added nine points in the victory.

On Thursday, they took on Atwater and came away with a 57-49 win.

"We were up most of the game, they came back a little in the third quarter but we held them off at the end," Bartelink said.

Joe Cowan paced the young Cougars in that game with a 13-point performance. Hawkins chipped in with nine points and James Harrison added eight.

"We got everyone some playing time, that was good," Bartelink noted.

The two wins put Escalon into the championship game on Friday night, facing off against Turlock.

"We lost 44-26, we missed a lot of easy shots," Bartelink said. "We shot something like 12-for-45...but it's still early in the season."

Aprile had eight points to lead the squad in the final, Cowan and Loureiro chipped in with six points apiece.

Despite falling to Turlock in the championship, Bartelink said he was extremely pleased with the play of his team in their first action of the season.

"I was happy to get to that championship game," he explained. "We played against some big schools, we took second place out of eight teams, there were a couple of other TVL teams there and we finished the highest of the small schools."

Jake Loureiro was named to the All-Tournament Team and Bartelink said it was a satisfying start to the season.

The team started practicing on Nov. 1 with those players not involved in fall sports and had been working together as a full team for about two weeks before taking the court.

This weekend, they will play in the Los Banos Tournament, with games Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

"We've still got a long ways to go, but I see some potential here," said Bartelink.