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Tournament Play Tough For Girls
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Escalon's underclassmen traveled to the Ripon Tournament for games Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 27 through 29.

The JV girls started off with a victory over Argonaut, avenging an earlier season loss. They took the contest by 10 points, 45-35.

"We got down 7-0, then ended the first quarter on a 12-2 run," explained coach Joseph Dalpogetti.

Leading 12-9, the girls continued to add on to it over the course of the game, with both Kaitlyn Kelly (12) and Cassie Kennedy (11) in double figures.

In game two, they lost a close 47-43 decision to Tracy despite leading 10-4 after one quarter and 26-19 at the half.

Dalpogetti said he felt the girls could have won the game, but let it slip away as they were outscored 17-4 in the third quarter. Kaitlin DaDalt had 16 points in the losing effort, with eight each from Kelly and Kennedy.

On Wednesday, it was a 56-47 loss to Los Banos in what Dalpogetti felt was another game his team could have won.

"We were only 9-for-29 in free throws," he said of one of the difference makes in the game.

The Escalon girls were down 13-8 after one and 30-23 at the half, still within striking distance.

"Our leading scorer was Kaitlin DaDalt with 13 points, the rest was spread out," Dalpogetti said.

He added it appeared as though the team as a whole let down some after defeating Argonaut in the opener.

"Argonaut was one of our two losses coming in, we avenged that and I think the girls were satisfied with that," he said.

Trans-Valley League play starts this week, as Escalon hosts Riverbank on Thursday, Jan. 6.

"Hopefully now things will settle down a bit, be more manageable, we will have games and practices, that should let us get back in our groove," said Dalpogetti.

The freshman girls were also at the Ripon Tournament and, like the JV squad, won one and lost two in their contests.

"We won our first game, beat Los Banos by six points," freshman coach Andrew Beam said of the Monday opener. "Then we played Ripon Christian, it was our best game of the year, the best the girls have played but we lost it by eight."

Basically a one-point game for early the entire contest, the youngest Lady Cougars had to take some fouls late in the game that RC capitalized on, hitting the free throws to seal the win, 46-38.

Beam pointed to the play of Claudia Gomez as being solid in the tournament, putting together her best effort of the season.

In the third place game on Wednesday, Escalon's freshmen met up with tournament host Ripon.

"We lost to Ripon and I felt it was a letdown, we were better than they were," Beam said, noting that his team let one get away. But he is eager to see the same team in league play on Jan. 10, hoping to avenge the loss then.

He's also looking forward to a busy freshman schedule in TVL action.

"Everybody has a freshman team except Modesto Christian," he said.

The JV and freshmen will be in action on Thursday, hosting Riverbank in season-opening league contests. The freshmen take the court at 4:30 p.m. and the JV game follows at 6 p.m.