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Varsity Girls Net Win, Tournament Honors
Junior Kaitlin DaDalt was named to the All-Tournament Team and the varsity Lady Cougars finished fourth in their host Lions Club Tournament this past week, winning one and losing two.

Wednesday, under new head coach Joseph Dalpogetti, moving up from the JV level, the team ran out to an 18-4 lead in the first quarter and put away Denair by a 63-29 margin.

"Kaitlin DaDalt led us, she was in double figures with 19, she had one 3-pointer and most of her baskets were on fast breaks or going inside," Dalpogetti said. "Adalia Cajias had eight points."

A 31-7 lead at halftime gave Escalon plenty of cushion and the host team also outscored Denair, 32-22 in the second half.

"I think our execution was pretty good on defense," Dalpogetti said of what made the difference.

Thursday, the varsity girls lost a 46-35 decision to Central Catholic, though they had a lead at the half.

After taking an 11-8 advantage after one quarter, the teams tied 9-9 in the second, with the Lady Cougars getting a 3-point basket at the buzzer from Parker Pilati to take a 20-17 lead.

But Central adjusted and outscored Escalon 16-8 in the third quarter, 13-7 in the fourth to take the win.

"In the second half, things started to fall apart for us and Central fed off that," the coach said.

Kaitlyn Kelly had seven points to the lead the team.

On Friday, against a taller, physical Ripon Christian squad, it was a 58-38 loss for the host Lady Cougars.

RC put up quarter scores of 13, 14, 17 and 14 points.

Escalon was held to single digits in three of four quarters, putting in double digits, 13, only in the fourth.

"Ripon Christian was consistent and extremely tall," Dalpogetti said. "Overall we're a lot smaller than the other teams."

DaDalt had 12 points in the loss and Sierra Cooper was also in double figures with 10 points.

"I think we can figure out how to play at the varsity level," Dalpogetti said of making the move up with his squad. "We just need to figure out how to play together as a team."

Senior Ami Hood is the only player retuning to varsity, with juniors DaDalt, Kelly, Adalia and Illiana Cajias, Cooper and Pilati, Sarah Fernandez, Cassie Kennedy and Judzaya Davis all moving up.

The varsity goes to another tournament this week, playing in the Turlock Christian Tournament and meeting up with Patterson in the first round, Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Riverbank's varsity was the tournament champion of the Lions Club Tournament this year, with second place going to Central, third to Ripon Christian and fourth to Escalon. Tournament MVP was Olivia Luu of Riverbank.