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Varsity Girls Top Riverbank, Fall To Ripon Christian

On the road for a pair of games in Trans-Valley League action, Escalon's varsity basketball girls lost to Ripon Christian but came up a winner at Riverbank.

They took the lead at Ripon Christian in the Monday, Jan. 7 contest but saw the host team put together a solid second half, losing 38-33.

"They started making shots," coach Kristie Cathcart said of the Indians. "And we didn't go out (in the second half) and cover their shots."

Both teams started out slowly, with the Lady Cougars scoring just seven points in the first quarter to Ripon Christian's four.

"We were off," agreed Cathcart of the slow start. "We were afraid to shoot the ball."

With a little more confidence in the second quarter, the girls doubled up RC, 14-7, to take a 21-11 lead at halftime.

Ripon Christian adjusted and came back to outscore the visiting Escalon team 13-5 in the third quarter to cut the lead to 26-24, then doubled up the Lady Cougars in the final frame, 14-7, to take the 38-33 win.

"We couldn't make anything," Cathcart said of putting the ball in the basket.

The girls hit just 12 shots from the floor and sank 6-of-8 free throws. Katie Aprile notched a 3-pointer. Megan Moore was leading scorer with eight pints, Noelle Bellino put in seven.

Escalon's two usual leading scorers, Katie Kaech and Kaitlyn Brayton, were held to single digits, with Kaech scoring six and Brayton five.

Thursday, the girls took their game to the confines of the Riverbank gym and again had a slow start, trailing 4-3 after the first quarter. They picked it up in the second quarter and kept pace with the host team, then added a new play in the second half that worked well, taking a 49-38 victory from the Lady Bruins.

The teams traded points in the second quarter, 16-16, and Riverbank had a 20-19 lead at the half. Escalon then adjusted, adding the new play, and enjoyed a 20-11 run in the third and a 10-7 edge in the final frame.

Kaech poured in 15 points, with eight each from Kaitlyn Brayton and Kaylan Aufdermaur, seven apiece from Mckenzie Brown and Megan Moore.

"We started a new offensive play, we ran that in the third quarter and they couldn't defend against it," Cathcart explained. "In the first quarter we couldn't make a basket to save our lives, but we did a good job on the press and got a lot of fast breaks in the second quarter."

The girls were 12-for-30 from the free throw line on the night and notched 17 buckets from the floor, with one 3-pointer from Brown.

The split put them at 2-2 in league play. They were slated to host Hughson on Monday, Jan. 14, then go on the road for games at Ripon on Jan. 17 and Modesto Christian on Jan. 22 before coming back home to host Ripon Christian on Friday, Jan. 25.