Winning two out of three games in the Escalon Tournament, the JV basketball boys claimed third place honors in the three-day event, staged Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 27 through 29.
Both the JV and freshman boys participated, the JV going 2-1 and the freshmen going 0-for-3 in the tournament.
Escalon’s JV boys opened up with Bret Harte on Thursday night, beating them 48-40.
“This was the second time we had beaten them,” explained head coach Brandon Hoover. “Keys were our defense and rebounding, we played tough defense that night.”
Logan Webster had 18 points against Bret Harte and Ty Harris was also in double figures, putting in 10 points.
On to the winner’s bracket, Escalon faced off on Friday night with Mountain House and took a 71-50 loss.
“It was a tight game for three quarters but they wore us out, they are a very deep team,” Hoover said. “I was pleased with our effort and competitiveness.”
Russell Weinbrecht had 13 points against the Mustangs, Harris chipped in with 12.
“They stayed positive,” Hoover added of his team, “but they (Mountain House) just had too much depth and skill.”
Meeting up with Patterson in the third place game on Saturday, Escalon came away with a hard fought 59-56 win.
“That was one of our better wins of the year,” Hoover said. “We played really well offensively in the first half. In the second half, we weren’t hitting our shots but we found a way to grind out the win.”
Weinbrecht and Ty Bashaw each had 20 points against Patterson to help lift Escalon to the third place finish.
“Russell had 19 of his points in the first half, including five 3’s,” noted Hoover.
Winning the tournament was Beyer, which took a 2-point victory over Mountain House in the championship game.
“We’re getting better and I just like the attitude in general,” the coach added of his squad. “We’re starting to play as a team, we’re not the most talented or skilled team but we’ll always be competitive.”
EHS Athletic Director Nate Bartelink – who was on hand as much as possible in between coaching the varsity boys in their games at the Columbia Tournament – said the Escalon event went off smoothly.
“I want to thank the parents and all the volunteers that ran the snack bar, the ticket takers, the hospitality room, we couldn’t have done it without all their help,” Bartelink said.
The youngest Cougars found the going tough in the tournament, as the freshmen came up against Johansen, Argonaut and Ripon Christian, falling to all three opponents over the course of the three-day event.