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Trio Of Lady Cougars Honored As Hoop Girls Win Finale
Battling for a rebound, senior Rachel Farley has provided a strong presence on the boards for the Lady Cougars this season and was one of a trio of seniors recognized on Senior Night. Also saluted were Soleil Gouzenne and Marissa Silva. Marg Jackson/The Times

Following a successful campaign on the hardwood, earning the league title, the Escalon Lady Cougars drew a No. 9 seed for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 4 playoffs. They are scheduled to travel to Orestimba, the No. 8 seed, for a first round basketball playoff game on Thursday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.

Previously, hosting Hilmar in their regular season finale, it was a satisfying Senior Night victory for the Escalon Lady Cougars varsity basketball team.

Prior to tip off the three seniors in the program, Rachel Farley, Soleil Gouzenne and Marissa Silva, were honored for their contributions through the years.

“Those three have 10 years of varsity experience,” said head coach Joseph Dalpogetti, with Gouzenne a four-year varsity player, Farley and Silva each spending three years with the varsity squad. “They have stuck with the program through some tough times and kept putting in the work and were able to come out on top this year, just showing that hard work pays off.”

Escalon did claim the Trans-Valley League title prior to the final game, so they were able to celebrate the seniors and play the contest without stressing on the potential impact to a title chance.

“We jumped out to a 13-2 lead after one and were up 34-11 at halftime,” Dalpogetti said of the Feb. 8 contest on the home court. “We extended the lead to 52-18 by the end of the third and won 56-24.”

Marissa Silva paced the varsity girls in scoring with 13 points on the night while Macie Vickers and Analise Silveira had 12 points apiece. Rachel Farley had 14 rebounds and four blocks while Dalpogetti noted that Soleil Gouzenne had a great defensive performance.

“We finished league play at 10-2 and were 20-4-1 overall,” the coach said, happy for the team reaching the 20-win plateau. “We are qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2006.”

Brackets were to be released Tuesday, Feb. 15 after The Times went to press. Hopeful for a home game, the Lady Cougars anticipate a first round contest on Thursday, Feb. 17.



It was a final game victory for the JV Lady Cougars on Tuesday as they took down Hilmar, 55-31, and completed a perfect 12-0 run through the TVL for a title themselves. The team has been strong all season and has gotten a couple of tournament championships as well, compiling an outstanding 23-2 overall record. Sammy Lang put in a team high 13 points in the win against the visiting Lady Yellowjackets while Brittany Gomez and Ashley Titsworth added eight points each. JV head coach Sam Baez will now move on to assist with the varsity team for the playoff run.