In the first week of Trans-Valley League action, the Escalon Lady Cougars were on the road Jan. 4 and lost to host Riverbank. They rebounded with a win at home on Jan. 6, topping Ripon Christian.
At Riverbank, it was a 50-45 loss, the varsity girls ultimately just falling a little short.
“We had a small 7-3 lead before they finished the quarter on a strong run to lead 12-7,” head coach Joseph Dalpogetti said. “We went on a flurry in the final few minutes of the second quarter to knot it at 20 before the half.”
The coach said his team shot themselves in the foot too many times in the third quarter, missing some easy shots and some free throw chances.
“We found ourselves down by 17 at one point, but I have to give a lot of credit to the heart of this team because they scratched and clawed the entire fourth to give themselves a chance,” Dalpogetti added. “We scored on a baseline inbounds play out of a timeout to cut it to 48-45 just outside of a minute left to play.”
A steal and subsequent foul provided an opportunity, but they failed to convert on the free throws, forcing Escalon to foul – and then watch as Riverbank sank their shots from the free throw line.
“We finished a disappointing 8-for-22 from the stripe,” said Dalpogetti.
Rachel Farley had 10 points in the loss, while Macie Vickers and Marissa Silva had nine each and Kelsey Webster pulled down 11 rebounds.
Thursday, the girls hosted Ripon Christina and put a 57-40 win on the books to even their TVL mark at 1-1.
“We found ourselves in a little bit of a hole to start, 10-6, before we finished the quarter on a 7-0 run including a Marissa Silva 3-point buzzer beater,” the coach said. “We were up 23-15 at the half and the message was pretty simple during halftime: play harder.”
Dalpogetti said the team took that message to heart and extended the lead, up by 18 heading into the final quarter.
“The lead was as large as 21 at one point but hats off to RC, they made us earn it,” he noted. “Their coach had commented that that was hands down the best they have played all year.”
Silva had 18 points on the night including four treys. Analise Silveira had nine, Vickers had eight points, nine rebounds and four steals.
“Every league win is going to be tough and we have to remind ourselves of that even if we feel we could have played better,” said Dalpogetti.
The girls are scheduled to host Livingston on the home court Thursday, Jan. 13.
The junior varsity girls were 56-27 winners against Riverbank on the road Tuesday, paced by the 22 points from Sammy Lang. Adding 10 points apiece were Chloe Farley and Aiden Hohenwarter. They also overwhelmed Ripon Christian by a 50-8 final on the home court Thursday with Lang again leading the scoring with 19 points. Farley chipped in with nine.