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Varsity Basketball Boys Get Three Wins For Week
Going a perfect 3-for-3 on the week, Escalon's varsity boys are nearing full strength on the basketball court.

The addition of players now finished with football and able to get on the court has only made the team stronger, and they are building on the foundation that was put down in the first several preseason contests. Tuesday, Dec. 21, the team had its full roster and hosted Delhi, defeating the visitors 86-44.

"It was probably a perfect game to get those (football) guys acclimated, get their legs back under them," said coach Martin Louro. "As the game progressed you could see the comfort level rise a little bit."

The teams traded points, 19-19, in the first quarter but Escalon rolled to a 25-12 scoring edge in the second quarter to take a 44-31 lead at the half. They erupted for 21-8 and 21-5 runs in the third and fourth quarters to take the convincing win.

"Delhi is not bad, but they are not very deep," Louro said.

Escalon's fast pace wore the team down and they were unable to keep up in the second half.

"Having five extra bodies helps," agreed Louro. "We are up and down the floor, they couldn't keep up with our style."

Nate Peterson was leading scorer with 14 points, Tyler Schuurman put in 13, with 12 from Brandon Shaw and eight each from Gino Franceschetti and Robbie Leal. Austen Cardoza had nine points on three treys.

"It was a well rounded effort," Louro said.

Hosting Patterson on Wednesday, it was another big win, the Cougars outlasting the Tigers 73-47.

"We played pretty well, dictated the tempo and we played our style, get out there and run," said Louro. "We really got out and pressured the ball. Our philosophy is defense creates offense and it was a lot of fun to watch, a lot of fun to coach."

Escalon ran out to a 24-7 first quarter lead and never looked back, holding a 38-19 edge at the half.

Leading scorer was Peterson, 16 points, with an outstanding night from Leal with 14 points and Schuurman also in double figures with 13. Franceschetti chipped in nine.

"We have a lot of guys scoring, but nobody yet has decided to be that 'go to' person," Louro noted.

With multiple players able to score in doubles digits, it hasn't been a problem yet, as opposing teams don't know who to key on. Thursday, the boys headed to Calaveras and Louro said he was a little nervous about the game. It was the third consecutive night for the team to be on the court and Calaveras was looking for some revenge after losing to Escalon in the football Section final.

"We knew they would be the toughest of the three teams, but we came out and looked a little flat," Louro said. "I knew we would get everything Calaveras had, they wanted to beat Escalon bad, at anything."

Host Calaveras took the lead, 7-6 in the first quarter and 16-12 in the second, holding a 23-18 advantage at the beak.

"We beat them in the second half," Louro said of ultimately coming away with a 50-49 victory. "This was a very good win for us, we found a way."

Escalon outscored Calaveras 17-12 in the third quarter, 15-14 in the fourth to get the win.

"Our defense was good but we let Calaveras dictate the tempo and they play a slow pace, not our style," noted Louro. Three players were in double figures, Schuurman and Leal both with 10 and Peterson with 12. Franceschetti put in nine.

"They hit a three at the buzzer," Louro added of Calaveras, "but it wasn't enough to win."

The varsity boys wrap up preseason play with a game at Central Valley on Monday, Jan. 3. Trans-Valley League action begins on the road with a tough one, at Riverbank on Friday, Jan. 7.

The freshmen will play at 4:30 p.m., JV at 6 p.m. and varsity at 7:30 p.m.