It was a pair of Trans-Valley League victories for Escalon’s varsity and JV basketball girls this past week, topping Ripon and Livingston.
The girls were on the road at Ripon for a Tuesday, Jan. 11 contest and the varsity came away with a hard fought 41-38 win.
“We had a good first half against Ripon,” said head coach Joseph Dalpogetti. “We were up 24-20 at halftime, but I thought it should have been a little more, but still pleased with the effort.”
Ripon battled back to take their first lead since leading 4-3 in the first to go up 32-30 in the third, but the Lady Cougars answered on their next possession.
Escalon then went up 41-38 in the fourth but failed to convert on free throws that would have made it a two possession game.
“They ended up with a half-court shot at the buzzer to tie that only hit the backboard,” Dalpogetti said of holding off Ripon for the 3-point victory.
Macie Vickers paced the team with 12 points on the night; Soleil Gouzenne was also in double figures with 10 points. Marissa Silva provided eight points and Vickers added five steals.
“Yanely Gomez and Rachel Farley had seven rebounds apiece and Rachel added five blocks,” Dalpogetti noted.
Welcoming Livingston to the Escalon court on Thursday night, it was a sparse crowd, as just a couple of spectators per player were allowed. The game was livestreamed for those who could not attend in person but wanted to watch the contest.
Up big early, Escalon saw the visitors chip away at the lead but the Lady Cougars were able to withstand the comeback attempt, winning by a 61-44 final.
“We had a good first quarter and were up 20-5 before allowing them to score 14 unanswered points before going on our run,” Dalpogetti said. “I opted to not call a timeout during their run because we were getting good looks, but just not converting them. The girls figured it out and ended up getting the lead back up to 13, 35-22, by halftime.”
A strong second half by the host Escalon team saw them extend the lead by as much as 24 points before the Lady Wolves were able to hit a couple of late shots from three-point range to trim the deficit. But the big lead held up for the 17-point win.
Vickers was the leading scorer, pouring in 23 points on the night. It was a balanced effort after that, with Gouzenne and Silva each putting in nine points, Kelsey Webster and Farley each with eight points.
Farley had 16 rebounds and Webster 11, while Vickers picked up five steals.
On the road Tuesday, the JV girls started the night off right, picking up a 42-24 win over the host JV Lady Indians in Ripon. Sammy Lang had 23 points for the young Lady Cougars. It was even more of a lopsided decision against Livingston, in a game that was called in the fourth quarter. Played at Escalon on Thursday, there was a medical emergency – difficulty breathing – for one of the Livingston players with 7:30 to go in the fourth. Play was stopped as emergency responders tended to the player and, after a delay of several minutes, Livingston asked for the game to be called. Escalon had built up a 50-17 lead by that time and officials honored the request, with the Escalon JV girls getting the victory. Lang paced the squad with 28 points.
“Pressure defense got to both Livingston and Ripon JV teams,” Dalpogetti explained. “We were able to get out in transition and get points.”
The JV and varsity girls were scheduled to host Hughson on Tuesday, Jan. 18 after The Times went to press and will be on the road Thursday, Jan. 20 at Hilmar.