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Victory Closes Out Preseason Campaign
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Trailing by just three points at the half, Escalon's varsity Lady Cougars proved to be a few points better than the host team over the final two quarters and took a 38-35 win off the court.

Amador was the opponent, Sutter Creek was the place and the contest was played Tuesday, Jan. 4.

"We keep kind of winning ugly, but we got it done," said coach Gary Ball. "We had a real good start, we scored the first six or eight points of the game, then they (Amador) rallied and won the first quarter."

Host Amador took an 11-9 lead in the first quarter of the non-league contest and outscored Escalon 13-12 in the second for a 24-21 halftime lead.

"From then, we trailed the whole game until we came back at the end," Ball said, adding that Amador could never get much more than a two- or four-point lead.

"They were a small squad and they out-quicked us sometimes," Ball said. "They executed their patterns well."

Leading scorer Kacey Ball got into some foul trouble and had to be periodically pulled from the contest but she returned late in the fourth quarter and started the charge that led to the final outcome.

"She scored eight of our 12 points in the fourth quarter, she led us back," Ball said.

A change in defensive strategy also proved helpful, with the Lady Cougars settling into a zone that forced the Amador team to start shooting from the outside.

"We put the clamps on the inside stuff," Ball explained. "They did not shoot well outside."

Both teams were cold in the third quarter, Escalon scoring five points to Amador's four, then the Lady Cougars heated it up with a 12-7 run in the final period for the victory.

Ball had 13 points to lead the girls, Alyssa Guzman added six, with five points each contributed by Sandi French and Lauren Brown.

That game closed out the preseason campaign for the varsity girls, who compiled a 7-3 mark. This week, they are in Trans-Valley League action, hosting Hughson on Thursday, Jan. 13. They play a Saturday game at Patterson on Jan. 15 and will be back on the road to face off against Ripon on Tuesday, Jan. 18. The next home game will be with Ripon Christian on Thursday, Jan. 20.

"We hope we're ready for league," Ball said. "The league is going to be tough, but I think we're in a position now that if we win the ones we should win, we should get a pretty good seed in the playoffs."