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JV Boys Hang Tough Despite Losses
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Both games for the JV basketball boys were home but that advantage didn't matter against nemesis Patterson.

The JV Cougars boys split their Trans-Valley League games for the week, falling to the Tigers but rebounding with a solid effort against Riverbank.

"We fell 58-47 to Patterson," coach Greg Largent said of the Tuesday, Feb. 3 game at Escalon. "You have to take your hat off to the other team, they played good defense, slowed us down."

Patterson defeated Escalon in the first game of the TVL campaign and, after rattling off six straight wins in league play, the JV Cougars were keying on the re-match, hoping to battle Patterson for the title.

"We're not a very big team so we have to rely on the calls sometimes, when they come over the back," Largent said of getting his players to the free throw line.

But the calls were not very quick to come on Tuesday, leading to some frustration for his players.

"Steve Largent and Andrew Beam both got pretty frustrated at the end, they both got technicals," Largent explained.

Trailing 33-24 at the half, the JV boys hung tough and worked their way back into the game as the second half progressed.

"We cut the lead to four with two minutes to go but that's as close as we got," Largent said. "We had a bad night shooting, went just 2-for-13 from the free throw line, had limited scoring, but we gave it a go...unless Patterson falls apart the last couple of weeks, they'll be the champions."

The boys were paced by Beam with 17 points, Ross Brayton with 14, Joe Dalpogetti and Largent with eight points each.

"We bounced back Friday against Riverbank and took a 72-53 victory but it was pretty close throughout," Largent said. "Everybody got in the score book but one player."

Escalon held a 34-27 lead at the half and then started to pull away. Dalpogetti poured in 21 points on the night to lead the JV Cougars, Largent had 13, Beam added 12 and Brayton chipped in with 11.

"We put on an 8-0 run midway through the fourth quarter and put it away," Largent said.

The split left the JV boys with an 8-2 mark in league. They were scheduled to play at Hughson on Tuesday, after The Times went to press, and will host Ripon in the final home game of the season on Friday, Feb. 13.

"They had climbed back to get that match with Patterson and it didn't go the way we wanted," Largent noted. "They were down because they really care, but they bounced back."