BAS­KET­BALL FI­NALE

Escalon Times - - FRONT PAGE - By MARG JACK­SON mjack­son@escalon­times.com

The fi­nal week of Tran­sVal­ley League play for Escalon’s var­sity bas­ket­ball boys was a per­fect mi­cro­cosm of their sea­son.

“We played re­ally well, we played re­ally hard, but we came up short in all three games,” said head coach Martin Louro.

Two of the three con­tests were at home, but none went in the win col­umn for the var­sity Cougars.

Tues­day, they hosted Hugh­son and lost an 81-71 de­ci­sion in the Feb. 7 con­test.

“Seventy-one re­ally should be enough points to win a game,” said Louro. “We’ve just had a hard time stop­ping other teams this year.”

Down 45-36 at the half, the Cougars chipped away at the lead in the third but couldn’t quite catch the Huskies.

Estephan Sal­cedo led all scor­ers with 31 points, Sahil Prasad had 17 and Tommy Pan­gan and Blue Capps put in eight points apiece.

Thurs­day at Hil­mar, it was a case where the Cougars took a late lead but couldn’t hang on, outscored by the host team 16-8 over the fi­nal eight min­utes and fall­ing 61-48.

“Again, Estephan led all scor­ers, he had 23 points, Je­van Sa­lyer had 10, Tommy had a tough night, he had just five points,” Louro said.

Escalon was down 19-11 af­ter one, 31-27 at the half and did get the lead on the road be­fore re­lin­quish­ing it to the host squad.

On Fri­day, it was the sea­son fi­nale host­ing Moun­tain House, ob­served as Se­nior Night. Recog­ni­tion prior to tip off came for se­niors Eric Camp­bell, Blue Capps, Justin Mi­randa, Tommy Pan­gan and Je­van Sa­lyer, with those five tak­ing the court to start the game.

A tightly con­tested game saw Moun­tain House lead it 22-14 af­ter one but a 2517 run by Escalon in the sec­ond knot­ted the game at 39-39 at half­time. Pan­gan hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie it up at the half. The Mus­tangs an­swered with a 19-12 scor­ing edge in the third. Escalon again bat­tled back but ul­ti­mately fell short, 82-74.

“We had the lead in the fourth, then they went up by two with a minute left,” Louro said. “There were a few fouls, they got some free throws at the end.”

Pan­gan closed out his high school ca­reer with a big night, scor­ing 27 points. Sal­cedo had 17, Sa­lyer put in 13 in his se­nior fi­nale.

“We had three guys in dou­ble fig­ures,” Louro noted. “Un­for­tu­nately, Moun­tain House had four.”

The var­sity squad went just 2-10 in Trans-Val­ley League play and 6-20 over­all. “It doesn’t seem like a suc­cess­ful year but there was an ex­treme amount of growth from the be­gin­ning of the sea­son to the end,” said Louro. “Win­ning is a byprod­uct of do­ing things right, we just didn’t do quite enough.”

The team did play much bet­ter as a co­he­sive squad by sea­son’s end, though, and Louro said they were com­pet­i­tive each time out on the court. They also look to have seven re­turn­ing play­ers next sea­son, a good base for build­ing on this year’s late sea­son surge.

At half­time of the Fri­day night game, EHS se­nior cheer­lead­ers were rec­og­nized for their ef­forts on be­half of the bas­ket­ball pro­gram as well. Hon­ored were Kiana Ancheta, Alyssa Arana, Anai Avila, Briana Brasil, Leanna Flores, Faith Fos­ter, Mo­riah May, Brenda Me­len­dez, Daisy Pan­toja, Cam­ryn Reed, Edgar Sa­mano, Eva Ship­ley, Mor­gan Thomp­son, Des­tiny White­sel and Tay­lor Cock­rell. Cheer coaches are Jean­nie Moeller and Lexi Bavaro.

MARG JACK­SON/THE TIMES

Rec­og­nized prior to tip off on Fri­day night were se­nior bas­ket­ball play­ers, from left, Je­van Sa­lyer, Justin Mi­randa, Tommy Pan­gan, Blue Capps and Eric Camp­bell, with their par­ents pos­ing be­hind them.

MARG JACK­SON/THE TIMES

Escalon’s se­nior cheer­lead­ers were hon­ored at half­time of the bas­ket­ball game on Fri­day night, saluted for con­tri­bu­tions to the pro­gram.

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