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Split Of Games For JV Girl Hoopsters
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Their biggest win of the year was followed by one of their worst efforts.

The highs and lows of the week resulted in a split of Trans-Valley League contests for Escalon's JV girls basketball team, as they topped Hilmar but lost to Livingston.

"Monday at home vs. Hilmar, we beat them 54-37 and it was our biggest victory of the year, Hilmar was previously undefeated in league," said coach Dave Lattig. "We played exceptionally good defense, the girls were really pumped, they knew they had to play well."

After taking a 9-3 lead in the first quarter, Escalon really turned up the heat on the Yellowjackets and went on a 14-2 run in the second quarter to post a 25-5 halftime lead.

Three players were in double figures for Escalon, paced by 18 points from Katie Kaech, 11 from Steph MacPherson and 10 from Mckenzie Brown.

Hilmar did some regrouping at halftime and came out with a strong effort in the third quarter, outscoring Escalon 22-7 in that frame. But the JV Lady Cougars answered back and kept the visitors at bay with a 22-10 scoring edge over the final frame for the 54-37 win.

"Leea Franscella came off the bench and had eight points, she hit some key shots in the second half," noted Lattig. "That win gave us a share of first place."

But the girls had to then go on the road to face another tough TVL opponent, Livingston, which runs a fast-paced game.

"We had to face the two best teams in one week," Lattig explained. "Down at Livingston on Thursday, they just weren't ready to play and we took a 43-27 loss."

Livingston jumped on the JV girls with a 12-6 edge in the first. The teams were tighter in the second, just a 9-8 advantage for Livingston, so the Wolves led it 21-14 at the half. But they put the game out of reach with a 15-5 run in the third, leading 36-19 after three periods.

"They hit three 3's in a row," Lattig noted of the big third quarter for the host squad. "They're a very quick team. We handled the pressure but our girls were kind of lackadaisical on both's tough to maintain that mental intensity."

Kaech and Megan McNinch were the leading scorers in the loss, each putting in eight points.

The girls hope to get back on track this week, hosting Riverbank on Thursday, Feb. 3 and then playing host to Livingston in a Saturday afternoon contest, 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 5.