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Varsity Lady Cougars Split League Contests
Losing by five to start the week, Escalon's varsity basketball girls came back in their second game to take a win off the court.

They were on the road for both, traveling first to face off with Ripon Christian in a Monday, Feb. 9 game.

Host RC took a 29-24 win.

"In my years here, I've had trouble wining in that gym," coach Kristie Cathcart said of traveling to Ripon Christian. "I told the girls it was cursed."

They were nearly able to break the curse, trading points with the Knights in the first quarter, 7-7. RC had an 8-4 scoring edge in the second for a 15-11 lead at the half and padded the lead with a 10-4 run in the third. Behind 25-15 entering the final frame, Escalon outscored RC 9-4 over the final eight minutes but couldn't quite make up the deficit.

"We played a lot better there than we have before," Cathcart said.

Annie Gallego paced the team with six points, with five from Shayleen Archer, four from Rachel Leal, three from Anne Bacay and two each from Krystal Lawrence, Breanna Brodie and Hannah Yarborough.

"We played good defense," added Cathcart. "We just couldn't get our shots to fall."

On Thursday, the varsity Lady Cougars won the game by scoring as many points as the team that beat them earlier in the week. This time it was Escalon with 29 points and that was enough, as they topped Riverbank by a 29-14 margin.

Cathcart said the game had a hectic pace, back and forth, and no one was really able to settle down and get into a good rhythm.

Gallego poured in 14 points, Brodie had four and Archer scored three, with Lawrence, Bacay, Yarborough and Leal each putting in two in the win.

"It was just out of control," Cathcart admitted of the game. "Everyone was running up and down the court. They're very aggressive, we were end to end and just couldn't hit anything."

The Lady Cougars were glad to take the win on the road, though, improving to 2-6 on the season in Trans-Valley League play.

"They didn't get many shots off," Cathcart added of the host Lady Bruins. "We pressed in the beginning, Annie got a lot of steals and lay ups."

The girls were slated to host Hughson in Tuesday night action, Feb. 17 after The Times wet to press and will have their season finale on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. against Ripon. That will be Senior Night, with recognition for seniors Krystal Lawrence and Rachel Leal prior to tip off.

"The first time we played Ripon, we only lost by eight," Cathcart said of chances to grab another win. "Against Hughson, we were close at the half, so we just have to make sure to play a whole game."