Douglas stumbles early vs. Vikings but rolls to win |

Douglas stumbles early vs. Vikings but rolls to win

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor
Steve Yingling / Tahoe Daily TribuneSouth Tahoe High's Kory DiGrande, left, and Peter Pielaet-Strayer double team Douglas' Jorey Scott, a former Lake Tahoe Unified School District student.

For nearly a quarter on Friday night it looked as if the Douglas High Tigers were looking ahead to Saturday’s first-place showdown with Bishop Manogue.

But the Tigers’ never-ending bench began to squeeze turnovers out of the Vikings with their full-court pressure defense, fueling several runs that gave Douglas a comfortable 71-43 Sierra Division victory in South Lake Tahoe.

In taking a 6-2 lead South Tahoe was able to consistently break the Tigers’ press in the early going and made the extra pass as buckets by Kory DiGrande, Peter Pielaet-Strayer and Thomas Eidam were each assisted. The Vikings were still ahead 8-4 before two late baskets, including a first-quarter buzzer-beating three by Luis Pina-Duarte gave Douglas a lead, 9-8, that it wouldn’t relinquish.

Pina-Duarte buried a three-pointer from the top of the key to end the third period as well.

“Give it to South Tahoe, they played good, solid defense in that first half. They made it tough for us to score inside,” said Douglas coach Corey Thacker.

The Tigers continued a 10-0 run early in the second period as their press at one point caused three straight turnovers, including two that were converted into layups.

Junior Peter Pielaet-Strayer kept the Vikings close by drawing a string of fouls away from the basket late in the second quarter. He made five of the six charity tosses and Griffen Boles added two, trimming Douglas’ lead to 29-20 at halftime.

Douglas, however, summoned another one of its bursts to open the third quarter. A 23-point output in the third, including Pina-Durate’s second buzzer-beater, gave Douglas an insurmountable 52-28 edge.

“I think we wore them down a little bit in the second quarter and especially in the third quarter,” Thacker said. “We got after them and got some easy buckets.”

South Tahoe senior guard Ricky Braun used seven successful free throws to score a game-high 13 points. Pielaet-Strayer chipped in 11 and Thomas Eidam scored eight.

Twelve Tigers scored, with Garrett Getty leading the way with 12 points. Theo Denson was the only other Tiger in double figures with 10 points.

“That’s what I like about our guys, they share the ball well, and they don’t care who scores,” Thacker said.

South Tahoe (1-5 division, 5-11 overall) plays at Carson on Tuesday. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23.

With the Vikings dispatched, the Tigers can turn their focus to top-ranked Manogue.

“They’re a team that likes to get up and down the court, and we’ll see who plays defense first. The big part of the game is going to be making stops in transition,” Thacker said.

Douglas also won the junior varsity game, 66-38, despite the repeated drives to the basket by Lee Espinosa, who led the Vikings with 11 points.

Douglas rallies past STHS frosh

Douglas and South Tahoe trade six-point leads in the second half before the Tigers emerged with a 54-49 victory in the freshman boys’ game.

South Tahoe trailed by six points at the break, but used a defensive push led by John Cefalu, Cale Backinger and Kyante Wilson to reclaim the lead in the third quarter.

South Tahoe (10-6) was led by Bobby Perez with 11 points. Wilson added 10 points, Brandon Cramer nine and Cody Higgins eight.

STHS frosh girls hang tough with Douglas

After Douglas jumped out to an early edge, South Tahoe regrouped and stayed within range of the Tigers in a 42-27 freshman girls’ basketball loss on Friday in Minden. Annie Kate Genasci led South Tahoe with nine points.

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