More adversity for STHS girls
South Tahoe High’s girls’ basketball team should have been a basket case after what the Vikings experienced Thursday night in a 65-62 defeat to Wooster.
The Vikings were poised to win their first Sierra League game after building an eight-point halftime lead, but a lethargic third-quarter effort enabled Wooster to rally and build its own commanding lead.
Matters only grew worse for the Vikings in the final period when post player Alexis Nunes-Fenley reinjured her right knee while scrambling for a rebound. Her injury was the second to a STHS senior starter in less than a week.
Despite those setbacks, the Vikings nearly stole a win from the Colts in the final minute. South Tahoe’s full-court pressure defense forced turnovers, and the Colts became unsettled at the foul line.
After the final missed free throw by the Colts’ Ayden Finak, Ellen Dupree grabbed the rebound and threw an outlet pass to Mel Sabac. After a few dribbles, Sabac passed to a Alex Reber, who was cutting to the basket for what appeared to be a go-ahead basket. But the shot came off the backboard too strong, and Wooster collected the rebound and Maria Magana coolly made two free throws to increase the Colts’ lead to 65-62.
“Honestly, I thought we had it there,” said Sabac, who scored 11 points for the Vikings.
South Tahoe senior Terra Backinger, who hit her previous three-point attempt, launched a potential game-tying shot as she crossed mid-court. The shot fell short, and the Vikings were left with their second close, home league defeat.
“We weren’t going to let her effort (Lexi’s) effort go to waste when she went down,” said STHS’s Alexis Holmes, praising Nunes-Fenley for the 14 rebounds she collected in the opening 16 minutes. “I’m proud of every single one of us. We can beat any team in this league, but we just need to finish.
“We did exactly what we were supposed to to get back into it, but we were just three points short.”
Wooster overcame a foul-plagued effort in the first half to scorch the Vikings for 25 third-quarter points – one more than the Colts scored in the entire first half.
“We lost that game in the third quarter,” said Holmes, who topped the Vikings with 14 points. “We’re just not a good starting team. We start the game that way, we start the third quarter that way. We’ll definitely be working on that.”
The Colts turned the game around by picking up the tempo with a full-court press. Sheila Christy cashed in many of the Vikings’ turnovers for layups and wound up with a game-high 27 points.
“We thought we had the game,” Sabac said. “But when the third quarter hit, they were outrebounding us and we were slacking. It was the turnovers, not rebounding that lost us the game.”
Backinger added 12 points, including a three-pointer that cut Wooster’s lead to 63-62 with 20 seconds to go. Nunes-Fenley scored 11 points before being injured.
South Tahoe (2-4 overall) will participate in a three-day tournament in Placerville, starting Dec. 28.
“That’s a huge loss for us,” Sabac said. “With Lexi and Cassandra out, who knows what is in it for our team now.”
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