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Win, Loss For Varsity Basketball Boys On The Road

Bouncing back from a loss at Patterson in the Foundation Game on the road Nov. 28, the Escalon varsity basketball boys got a road win at Tokay on Nov. 30.

Against Patterson, it was a varsity only contest for the fundraising Foundation game.

Escalon took a 16-13 lead in the first quarter but trailed 33-28 at the half. A strong third quarter saw the Cougars tie the game, 42-42, by the end of that frame but Patterson outscored them 22-15 over the final eight minutes for a 64-57 final.

“Patterson’s athleticism got the best of us at times throughout the game. They were able to get extra possessions through offensive rebounds in the first half and because of our turnovers throughout the entire game,” said Escalon head coach Nate Bartelink. “We turned the ball over 20 times, which is way too many. Our inability to consistently defensive rebound and take care of the basketball allowed Patterson to get too many easy shot attempts. Our guys kept fighting and only trailed by one point with just under a minute, but we made a couple costly mistakes that kept us from coming out on top.”

It was a good experience, Bartelink added, and the loss does not go on the team record.

“This Foundation Game serves as a fundraiser for CIF scholarships, and is a glorified scrimmage that does not count as one of our 28 contacts,” he explained. “It’s not often that you get to learn a lesson during the season, one that does not impact your win-loss record. We learned a few things that kept us from being successful and we moved on.”

Ben Fletcher had 14 points on the night; Jack Anderson and Frank Richard Barrera each put in nine. Ethan Garza and Sammy Jimenez put in seven points apiece while Logan Huebner added six.

All three levels were in action at Tokay in Lodi on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Escalon’s varsity improved to 3-0 in preseason play with a 54-46 win, outscoring their Tokay opponent in three of the four quarters. It was a 32-24 Cougar lead at the half and Tokay trimmed it to 43-38 heading into the fourth quarter but Escalon was a few points better, 11-8, over the final eight minutes to seal the victory.

“We played well against a team that has some talent. We started the game playing at an extremely high pace, and it carried through most of the game. Pace is something we have stressed early in the season,” said Bartelink. “We did an amazing job taking care of the basketball and only turned it over three times throughout the entire game. In my 20 years of coaching, I don’t remember a team turning it over that few times in one game. The problem in this game is that we missed eight to 10 uncontested shots around the rim. If we make half of those, the game would not have been close. But making and missing shots is part of the game. Credit to our defense for playing well and helping us get a good road victory, even when we didn’t shoot the ball well.”

Jack Anderson paced the effort with 19 points and Sammy Jimenez was also in double figures with 11. Ethan Garza put in nine.

“The JV and Freshmen each played hard and competed right down until the end, but both fell short on the scoreboard,” Bartelink said. “All three teams will be very busy over the next month plus. We play three games each of the next five weeks. Several of our opponents are also going to be tougher teams, that come from quality programs.”