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Second Place Showing In Denair For Varsity Hoop Boys

Another busy week for basketball saw the varsity Cougar boys go 2-2.

They took a 63-42 loss to Amador on the home court on Dec. 10.

“We outscored them in the first quarter,” said head coach Nate Bartelink, but the visitors turned the tables with a 22-5 run on the host Cougars in the second and from there, they had to play catch up.

They could never get back into the game, though they had some top performances from Brenden Holmes, 19 points and Russell Weinbrecht, 17 points and 13 rebounds.

“They had 36 points between them and we only had 42 total,” Bartelink noted.

Then it was off to the three-day Denair Tournament, Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 12 through 14.

Thursday the Cougars topped Turlock Christian, 72-57, utilizing an 18-8 second quarter run to gain the upper hand.

“We were comfortably in front most of the game,” said Bartelink.

The team was without three players, busy with the high school holiday concert on Thursday night, and Holmes also got into some foul trouble. He still had 27 points on the night and Weinbrecht put together a triple double, 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Dylan Ruiz had 14 points, Ty Bashaw 10 points and eight rebounds with Dillon Watson adding eight points.

In the round robin tournament, Escalon edged past Big Valley Christian 70-68 in overtime on Friday night.

“They outscored us 16-7 in the fourth, hit some late 3’s to tie it up,” Bartelink said. “We outscored them 10-8 in the overtime period.”

Holmes had 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists, along with hitting a pair of clutch free throws in the OT. Weinbrecht had 22 points and 14 rebounds. Ruiz had 14 points, Miguel Marmol and Clayton Ferreira added nine each.

Saturday for the championship against host school Denair, the boys took a 71-48 loss and had to settle for going 2-1.

“They hit 14 3’s on us,” Bartelink noted. “They were leading just 23-19 after one but they just found open guys (beyond the arc) and their guys hit it.”

Weinbrecht had 16 points and seven rebounds, Holmes had 12 points and Marmol added nine.

Both Holmes and Weinbrecht were named to the All-Tournament Team.

The JV boys won two of three at the tourney as well while the freshmen were at a different tournament and went 1-2.

This week, the teams will host Atwater on Friday night, Dec 20 in non-league action.

“We’re just looking to get better,” Bartelink said.