Sev­enth Place Show­ing For Var­sity Bas­ket­ball Boys

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

Win­ning one of three games in the Co­lum­bia Tour­na­ment, Escalon’s var­sity bas­ket­ball boys closed out the event on a high note with a big win over Big Val­ley Chris­tian.

Games were Wed­nes­day, Dec. 27 through Fri­day, Dec. 29.

“Wed­nes­day we got blasted by Sonora in the first round,” said head coach Martin Louro.

The fi­nal was 78-46, with Sonora go­ing on a 20-8 run in the first quar­ter to set the tone early.

“We’re giv­ing up way too many points,” Louro said. “We’re not lack­ing in our de­fense but we also al­low too many of­fen­sive boards.”

Sonora was able to cap­i­tal­ize and outscore Escalon in ev­ery quar­ter of the con­test, en­joy­ing a 3821 lead at the half. The host Wild­cats put up 40 points to Escalon’s 25 in the sec­ond half. Steven Grossi had 17 points, Sahil Prasad added 14.

Thursday, the Cougars faced off with Arg­onaut in the loser’s bracket,

“We played a lot bet­ter but still lost by 17 points,” said Louro. “De­fen­sively, we were in the right place, right time and we made it tough for them.”

Arg­onaut had a 32-17 lead at the half, Escalon made it close in the sec­ond half, scor­ing 29 points to Arg­onaut’s 31 over the third and fourth quar­ters, re­sult­ing in the 63-46 fi­nal.

“We did a pretty good job, this is a high pow­ered of­fense, they have too many weapons and ac­tu­ally it was a pos­i­tive note de­spite the loss,” Louro said of keep­ing Arg­onaut un­der con­trol.

Prasad had 16 points to lead Escalon; Cameron DeWeerd added 11 and Estephan Sal­cedo put in eight.

Fri­day, Escalon took part in the sev­enth place game, bat­tling it out with Big Val­ley Chris­tian.

“We knew we’d have a chance against Big Val­ley Chris­tian, they were 8-4 go­ing in,” Louro noted. “We had a pre-game talk about what we needed to do; there were three things, we needed to play hard, play smart and play to­gether. We needed to do all three of those things and we did that.”

The end re­sult was an 85-40 vic­tory for Escalon, start­ing off with a 16-8 run in the first quar­ter, adding 27 more points in the sec­ond to 18 by Big Val­ley. The 43-24 half­time lead proved too much for Big Val­ley to over­come and Escalon kept the pres­sure on in the sec­ond half, outscor­ing Big Val­ley 42-16 over the third and fourth quar­ters.

“We won the cor­rect way,” Louro said of the of­fense and de­fense both click­ing for the Cougars.

All but one player got on the score sheet in the con­test. Sal­cedo had 15 points on the night to lead the way; Mikey Car­roll had 14, with Max Ni­cholas adding 12. Three play­ers had nine points apiece in the win, Prasad, Grossi and Nic Lat­tig.

“We were phys­i­cally bet­ter than this team,” added Louro.

The win in the Co­lum­bia Tour­na­ment was just the sec­ond one for Escalon’s var­sity in a long pre­sea­son cam­paign that saw them go 2-13.

They open the reg­u­lar sea­son sched­ule at home, host­ing River­bank in a 7:30 p.m. con­test on Wed­nes­day, Jan. 3.

“That’s usu­ally a dog fight,” Louro said of tak­ing on the Bru­ins. “We are 2-13 go­ing into league but I still think we can sur­prise some peo­ple.”

MARG JACK­SON/THE TIMES

Bring­ing the ball up the court for Escalon in re­cent ac­tion is Max Ni­cholas. He had 12 points in a win over Big Val­ley

Chris­tian at the Co­lum­bia Tour­na­ment on Fri­day.

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