Var­sity Bas­ket­ball Boys Bat­tle In Tough Losses

Escalon Times - - SPORTS - By MARG JACK­SON mjack­son@escalon­times.com

Both games for Escalon’s var­sity bas­ket­ball boys this week were losses, but the team bat­tled hard in each con­test.

“We played two tough teams and we played them both tough,” said head coach Martin Louro.

Host­ing Ripon Chris­tian on Tues­day, Jan. 31, the fi­nal was 77-66 in fa­vor of the Knights. RC rolled to a 19-10 first quar­ter lead and was up 39-28 at the half, the Cougars stay­ing com­pet­i­tive.

Af­ter a 17-12 RC run in the third, it was 56-40 en­ter­ing the fi­nal frame.

“In the fourth quar­ter, we cut it to three,” Louro said of the deficit. “We had an op­por­tu­nity to tie it.”

Though they couldn’t quite pull even, Escalon outscored RC 26-21 over the last eight min­utes of the con­test.

Estephan Sal­cedo paced the team with 18 points, fol­lowed by Steven Grossi with 15 and Sahil Prasad with 14.

“Sahil this week played like he is ca­pa­ble of play­ing, he re­ally ma­tured this week and played very well,” said Louro.

Tommy Pan­gan, with 13 points, rounded out the Cougar play­ers in dou­ble fig­ures on the night.

“Fri­day night, we went against 7-0 Ripon. It’s al­ways go­ing to be fun when we play them … and it was,” Louro said.

The hard fought con­test saw the In­di­ans take an 8970 win, but they def­i­nitely had to work for it.

Up 24-16 af­ter one, it was a 46-36 lead at the half. The In­di­ans worked to stretch the lead to 73-47 af­ter three and were able to hold off the hard-charg­ing Cougars in the fourth, though the host team had the scor­ing edge, 23-16, in the fi­nal eight min­utes.

“Ripon is un­de­feated for a rea­son,” Louro said. “But we wouldn’t go away, they had to keep play­ing.”

Again, four Cougars were in dou­ble fig­ures, led by Pan­gan with 18, Prasad with 17, Sal­cedo with 16 and Blue Capps with 11.

“They’re very tal­ented and are just a bet­ter team,” Louro said of the In­di­ans. “Still, I’m ex­tremely proud of my guys and the way they’ve played.”

The var­sity was sched­uled to play at home Tues­day, Feb. 7 af­ter The Times went to press, host­ing Hugh­son. They will be at Hil­mar on Thurs­day, Feb. 9 and then wrap up the cam­paign with Se­nior Night fes­tiv­i­ties and a game against Moun­tain house on Fri­day, Feb. 10 with tip off at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re not win­ning very much but they have not been let­ting that get them down,” the coach said of his squad. “We’re fin­ish­ing strong, I’m re­ally proud of them for that. I tell them if you leave it all out there on the court, no mat­ter what hap­pens, you can be proud of the ef­fort.”

JU­NIOR VAR­SITY

Fac­ing off with both Ripon schools this week, one game went in the win column, one in the loss column for the JV boys.

They opened up with a Tues­day game host­ing Ripon Chris­tian.

“They beat us the first time around in over­time so we knew we could play with them,” head coach Nate Bartelink said. “We ended up win­ning 52-38, it was great to see us with a six-point lead go­ing into the fourth; we were 13-for-16 in free throws in that fi­nal quar­ter, we con­verted on most of them and se­cured the vic­tory.”

Up 11-7 af­ter one and 2219 at the half, the JV boys outscored RC in the third as well, lead­ing 37-31 go­ing into the fi­nal frame.

They went on a 16-7 run over the last eight min­utes, putting the game out of reach.

“They worked hard, they were re­warded with a good vic­tory,” Bartelink said. “Ripon Chris­tian was 6-1 up to then, we played spoiler a lit­tle bit.”

Brad DaDalt had 16 points to lead the team, in­clud­ing 14 in the fourth quar­ter, when he was 9-for-10 from the free throw line.

“Mikey Car­roll had 14 points, Lucca Du­tra had 10 and Frank Leal added seven points,” added Bartelink.

Host­ing Ripon on Fri­day, the coach said he knew it would be a tough go.

“That group of guys has been play­ing to­gether since the fifth grade, they do travel ball, play year-round,” Bartelink said of the In­di­ans. “We gave it a valiant ef­fort.”

Escalon was also with­out three play­ers – Zach Pick­ett, Lucca Du­tra and Clay­ton Fer­reira – for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, and that had an im­pact.

“Our game plan was to slow it down, we played all zone, tried to force them to shoot from the out­side,” said the coach.

Down 14-5 af­ter one, the host JV Cougars found them­selves down 28-9 at half­time.

“We knew what we were up against,” Bartelink said.

The In­di­ans outscored Escalon 14-5 in the third, 16-3 in the fourth to take a lop­sided 58-17 win.

“There was just not much of­fense, that was a sea­son low for us,” Bartelink said of the 17 points. “We just could not score.”

DaDalt had nine points, Car­roll had five.

The JV boys close out the sea­son this week. They were sched­uled to be home to host Hugh­son on Tues­day, Feb. 7 af­ter The Times went to press. They will be at Hil­mar on Thurs­day, Feb. 9 and will be home to host Moun­tain House on Fri­day, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m.

FRESH­MEN

Tues­day at home, the fresh­men eas­ily out­dis­tanced vis­it­ing Ripon Chris­tian, win­ning by a 56-28 fi­nal.

“Guards Colton Panero and Kaidence Trejo played great of­fen­sively and de­fen­sively,” said coach Dave An­der­son. “Ja­cob Walden also played well in­side.”

On the home court again for Fri­day’s game, the frosh boys could not get much go­ing against Ripon and fell to the In­di­ans, 62-38.

“We played hard against a very good team who has only lost once this year,” said An­der­son.

The fresh­men will be on the road for a game at Hil­mar on Thurs­day and then kick off a trio of Fri­day night contests, host­ing Moun­tain House with a 4:30 p.m. start time.

PHOTO BY RJ JEF­FER­SON

Cougar var­sity player Estephan Sal­cedo gets some air and splits the de­fense on his way to the bas­ket against Ripon dur­ing Fri­day night ac­tion on the home court. He had 16 points in the game.

MARG JACK­SON/THE TIMES

Young hoop­ster Miguel Mar­mol drib­bles the ball up the court against a Ripon de­fender in the fresh­man con­test to kick off a trio of games in Escalon on Fri­day night.

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