Seeing some hard work pay off, the Escalon JV basketball boys won two out of their three games this week.
The squad, which several freshmen in the starting line-up, has continued to make progress during the season and head coach Brandon Hoover said he was happy to see the team get a couple of victories.
Tuesday, they beat Ripon Christian by a 47-39 decision.
“Our defense was very good, to hold a good team like that to 39, we packed in a 2-3 zone and it was by far the best rebounding night we have had,” Hoover said. “Zach Valencia, Matt Silva and Mark Anthony Valente all did a good job on the boards.”
DeSean Owens was leading scorer with 16 points and Jack Anderson was also in double figures with 10 points on the night. Valencia added seven.
The win was even more satisfying as the Knights had topped the JV Cougars by 17 points in their last meeting.
Thursday, the boys were at home to face off with league leading Ripon.
“It was a 53-45 loss and we struggled all night to get good looks,” said Hoover. “We were down 32-13 at the half but in the third quarter we outscored them 22-14 to get us back in the game.”
The Ripon defense, however, made the difference down the stretch as they were able to hold off the determined Cougars squad.
Anderson had 15 points and Owens added 12, with seven points from Valente.
“He was also very active on defensive rebounds,” Hoover said of Valente.
Heading out on the road Friday night, the JV boys made the most of the trip, coming home with a victory over Livingston, winning by a 59-47 final.
“I was really pleased with how well we played, both offensively and defensively,” Hoover pointed out. “It probably was our most complete game of the season.”
Key to the win was Owens, who had three steals for lay-ups in rapid succession in the fourth quarter, effectively putting the game out of reach.
“He scored 14 but 12 of them were in the second half and eight of them were in the fourth quarter,” Hoover said of the late game surge by Owens.
Anderson paced the team with 18 points including four 3’s and Silva had 10 points and seven rebounds.
“We also got some spark off the bench from Logan Anderson, he had six points and locked in on their best player, he is our best defender.”
Hoover said the team has continued to work hard all season long and he is glad to see that effort paying off with some wins.
“I’m just really proud of them and I think they’re going to get even with a lot of teams next year,” Hoover said.
The freshmen had a tough week, meanwhile, dropping all three of their contests in league play.