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Varsity Basketball Boys Grab Three Wins For Week
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Splitting their games early in the week, the varsity Escalon Cougars headed to the Atwater Tournament and won two out of three there, taking the consolation championship.

The boys were 64-33 winners over Delhi in road action Monday, Dec. 7 with a 29-15 halftime lead extended with solid play in the second half. Nate Caton had 12 points, Nick Araujo nine and Jack Pinney eight. Tuesday the boys were at Linden and had what coach Martin Louro termed their "first real setback" in that they let the Lions take control in the fourth, outscored 22-7 in the final fame.

"They made a push in the fourth quarter and we didn't push back," Louro said. "Our goal is to keep teams to 50 or less."

Tyler Schuurman had 14 points to lead the team, Gino Franceschetti put in nine.

"As bad as Tuesday was, we could not have responded better," Louro said of heading to the Atwater Tournament and winning two of three games played there.

The Cougars opened up against an old nemesis, the Livingston Wolves, who use a 'run and gun' style of play.

"We knew we would be in an absolute battle with Livingston," Louro said. "We lost the game but played amazing team defense."

The final was 59-55 and the difference was in free throws, with Livingston connecting on theirs and Escalon not able to convert.

"Livingston went on to beat Buhach and win the championship game by 15," Louro said.

Brandon Shaw had 13 points, Schuurman had 12 and Franceschetti netted 10. Vince Aufdermaur put in seven.

Friday, they faced off with Waterford and put away the Wildcats 67-43.

"Everyone got to play a lot and we played the first half with the same intensity we had with Livingston," Louro said. "It was fun to watch."

Robbie Leal was the leading scorer with 13 points, followed by Aufdermaur with 11 and Travis Cardoza with eight.

"The final doesn't look as bad as it could," the coach admitted. "I called off the dogs."

In the consolation championship, Escalon faced Patterson and took an 82-59 win off the court Saturday, getting major contributions from all points on the floor.

"They are a very athletic team but a little undisciplined and we frustrated them," Louro said of the Tigers.

After building up a big lead, the Cougars withstood a second half push by their opponent.

"They cut a 27-point lead to 15, then we won by 23, we withstood their push and sent it back the other way," Louro said.

Schuurman had 20 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, with a pair of treys. Aufdermaur had 15 points, with 12 points from Raymond David, including two 3's, and 11 from Araujo.

"Nick is starting to settle in and is running the team well," Louro said. "And Vince is steady, playing great defense and rebounding."

Aufdermaur was named to the All Tournament Team for his efforts over the three-day event.

"Finally we have everybody there," Louro added of getting his entire team together, after being joined by football players. "We have no games this week, we just get to practice."