Kings of the court
ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. – The lady Warriors were ready for Round 2, but then so were South Tahoe’s King sisters.
Whittell never let South Tahoe get out of reach Saturday, but Brooke King and Ally King delivered in pivotal moments to lead the Vikings to a 38-32 win in front of a packed and rowdy gym at Whittell, Saturday.
It was the typical chippy match that’s come to be expected when these two teams meet. Most of these girls have played against each other since elementary school, so there was no love lost Saturday.
“It wasn’t a pretty outing, but it was a win,” South Tahoe coach Mike Neiger said. “It’s a good thing if you can win an ugly game on the road.”
This brings the season score to 2-0, South Tahoe, but the win wasn’t a gimme by any means.
Two weeks earlier, South Tahoe beat Whittell by 16 points. Amanda Harris scored 22 of Whittell’s 24 points during that first season matchup.
After the loss, Whittell head coach Tom Esposito said it would be a different game next time around.
He wasn’t kidding. The Warriors were ready for the rematch.
South Tahoe jumped out to a 2-point lead, and a 3-pointer from Brooke edged the Vikings ahead 11-8 after the first quarter.
South Tahoe kept the momentum rolling into the second quarter.
Kaila Griffis stepped up with the Vikings missing their point, Bailey David, who was out with a concussion. Griffis added a key layup and 2-2 free throw performance to extend South Tahoe’s lead to 21-15 heading into halftime.
Whittell ate up that lead in a matter of minutes, though, as they exploded into the second half.
The Warriors opened the half with four unanswered points followed by a 3-pointer from Amanda Harris, who cut South Tahoe’s lead to 23-22.
Whittell’s Jenny Shepack then grabbed a steal and ran it coast-to-coast to tie the game at 24.
It was the younger King, Ally, who stepped up to stall Whittell’s momentum. She drained five unanswered points, including a 3, with a minute left in the third.
Alley’s momentum shift wasn’t the final word though.
The Warriors surged back behind a 3-pointer from Shepack and a free throw from Amanda, making it a 3-point game again with a minute remaining.
This time it was the older King, Brooke, who stepped up to squash the Whittell surge. Her free throw made it a four-point game, and her last second layup silenced Whittell’s come-from-behind effort.
Brooke had a game high of 16 points, including one 3-pointer. She also had five rebounds and three assists. Griffis posted seven points.
South Tahoe’s Hannah Neiger and Riley Chapman controlled the boards. Neiger had 12 rebounds, eight defensive, and Chapman pulled down 11 rebounds.
For the Warriors, Amanda led the way with 11 points and seven rebounds. Jenny “The Jet” Shepack had eight points.
“I told The Jet ‘I need eight points from you tonight, Jet,’ and she said, ‘you got it coach’,” Esposito said.
Sierra Forvilly added seven points. Emily Harris had four points, but also four key blocked shots and four assists.
UP NEXT: The lady Warriors will travel to Elko for their first playoff game against White Pine on Thursday. The winner will advance to semifinals on Friday and then on to finals Saturday.
The lady Vikings open playoffs with a home game against Truckee on Wednesday.
South Tahoe 11 10 8 9 – 38
Whittell 8 7 9 8 – 32