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Varsity Boys Roll Off Trio Of Wins
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In a solid week of basketball, the varsity Cougars took down three opponents, winning at home and on the road.

"It was a real good week for us, we did what we had to do and we won all three," said coach Martin Louro, getting his full team on the court for the first time with a few practices behind them. They hosted Central Valley of Ceres on Dec. 10 and earned a 72-57 win.

"We played at a high level of intensity," Louro explained. "We worked extremely hard at putting a lot of pressure on the other team."

A pair of Cougars scored in double digits, paced by Brian Gregorio with 16 points and Marvin Guillen with 13. Adding eight each were Owen Pangilinan and Matt Silveira.

"We lost Brian late in that game, he took a tumble and got a concussion so we held him out the rest of the week," Louro said of taking precautionary measures with one of their key players. On Tuesday, the varsity squad traveled to Amador and took a hard fought 63-50 victory over the host team. This time, it was a triple threat of double digit scorers.

"Alec VonAlvensleben had 16 points, Matt Silveira had 13 and Owen Pangilinan had 11," Louro said.

The teams were nearly even in the first quarter, Escalon leading just 13-12, but they pulled away in the second, leading 27-19 at the half. The fast pace of the Cougars forced some miscues on Amador's part, resulting in turnovers that Escalon cashed in on in the form of easy buckets.

"We make other teams play at a faster pace than they want to," Louro said of the hustling Cougars.

A strong 23-18 third quarter helped Escalon pull away even farther.

"The third quarter has been our best quarter so far this year, hopefully that continues," said Louro.

Friday, the team was home and put away Argonaut in an 82-58 contest. VonAlvensleben erupted for 24 points, with 12 from Matt Silveira and nine from Ryan Bartelink, who hit two treys on the night.

"He also had two three-point baskets against Amador," Louro said of Bartelink starting to heat up from beyond the arc.

"That's going to be important, because people are going to collapse on Alec and Brian," said Louro. "Matt Silveira has also been playing great, we expect him to be a big presence inside, rebounding and challenging shots but he's also been making great post moves and power moves to the basket."

The team is starting to come together but still has plenty of room for improvement, said the coach. Still, he added, he "can't complain" about the way they're playing and the effort they are showing on the court. This week, they travel to the Carmel Tournament Thursday through Saturday.