Escalon’s varsity basketball boys got one win on the court this week, their first of the season.
They also took three losses, with one game at home and three on the road during tournament play.
Tuesday, Dec. 4 they hosted Calaveras and took a 73-45 loss to the visitors.
“They jumped out on us, 14-0, they hit three 3’s, a bucket, some free throws,” head coach Nate Bartelink said.
Down 21-13 after one, Escalon trailed 36-25 at the half.
“We experimented with some zones that we’ll have to use this season and they (Calaveras) did not miss many shots,” Bartelink noted.
Brenden Holmes had nine points for Escalon in the loss; Kameron DeWeerd had nine as well, with seven from Brad DaDalt and five from Miguel Marmol.
Three games in the Galt Tournament followed, with the Cougars facing off on Thursday against McNair.
“I have to give my guys credit, it was the best game we’ve played but we fell short, 70-65,” Bartelink said, noting that McNair had more than once this season scored more than 100 points in a game and he was proud of his team’s defensive effort.
The teams split the quarters in terms of having the scoring edge, McNair leading the way in the first and fourth, Escalon winning the second and third quarters.
“We had the lead after three but they went on a quick run, outscored us 26-18 in the fourth,” said Bartelink.
Holmes was again the leading scorer for the Cougars, putting in 18 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. DeWeerd had 14 points and seven rebounds, Dylan Ruiz had 10 points, Frank Leal with nine and DaDalt with eight.
Friday, the Cougars faced off with Foresthill out of Auburn and got their first win of the season, prevailing in a close 38-34 contest.
“We couldn’t get much of an offensive rhythm going,” the coach said. “But we’ll take that first win any way we can get it.”
Escalon had a 12-5 lead after one but were outscored 8-2 in the second, clinging to a 14-13 lead at the half. The Cougars were just a couple of points better over the third and fourth quarters to get the victory.
Holmes had 13 points and 11 rebounds, DeWeerd had 10 points and nine boards.
The varsity squad wrapped up their week with a 57-52 loss to Atwater, a game that Bartelink said was a solid one for his team.
“We trailed for most of it but we kept battling,” he said. “We committed some turnovers late.”
Trailing 28-18 at the half, Escalon outscored Atwater 18-15 in the third, 16-14 in the fourth but couldn’t quite make up the deficit. DeWeerd had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Holmes had 13 points and seven rebounds.
“Dylan Ruiz played real solid, he had 12 points including three 3’s, big ones as we tried to battle back,” Bartelink said.
The varsity squad has started the season 1-6 and was scheduled to play at Amador on Tuesday, Dec. 11 after The Times went to press. They go to the Denair Tournament Thursday through Saturday, a round robin tourney that will see them match up against Big Valley, Turlock Christian and Denair.
“We’re still trying to find ourselves,” Bartelink said, adding that the team is working on developing a cohesive squad before the start of the Trans-Valley League season.
It was also a busy week for Escalon’s JV basketball boys, starting off with a 57-47 loss to Calaveras at home on Dec. 4.
“We only scored seven points in the first half,” said coach Brandon Hoover. “We got good looks; we just couldn’t make any shots.”
Down 29-7 at the half, the Cougars fought hard to make a game of it but the lead by Calaveras was too big to overcome.
Russell Weinbrecht had 15 points while Ty Harris added nine.
They also played in the Galt Tournament and started off with a Thursday game against McNair, an 83-81 overtime loss.
“It was kind of a wild game,” admitted Hoover. “Two of our guys fouled out and we only have seven … we had a 13-point lead in the fourth but we just ran out of gas.”
Weinbrecht poured in 31 points, Harris and Logan Webster put in 18 points apiece.
Friday, facing off against Foresthill, the JV boys earned a 76-34 win.
“Our kids responded really well after losing a couple of games,” said Hoover. “We jumped on them and didn’t let up.”
Weinbrecht and Webster had 21 points each in the win, with Demetrius Teixeira adding 14.
Escalon then played in the consolation championship, taking on Valley out of Sacramento.
“We got a 58-56 win, it was the most complete game we’ve played all year,” Hoover explained. “We were up 20-12 after one quarter; the speed of their game gave us some problems but we rebounded well. Logan Webster hit the game-winning basket with two seconds left.”
Webster had 18 points in that victory and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Weinbrecht had 18 points, Harris added 12.
“The kids are very competitive,” Hoover said.
The JV boys are now 5-2 overall and will be at the Johansen Tournament Thursday through Saturday.