South Tahoe basketball: season end approaches

South Tahoe girl vikings play North Valleys High School on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
Provided / Phillip Bryant

Vikings girls hold on to second place

The South Tahoe lady Vikings lost a shot at a share of the league title with a loss to North Valleys on Wednesday. 

The final score of 59-46 doesn’t reflect how close the game was, Coach Mike Neiger stated, “After being down by 13 at the half, we cut their lead to three late in the third quarter, but North Valleys’ depth got us in the fourth [quarter].  I’m proud of our girls for their effort all season and all we need to do is win out and we will host a first round playoff game, our first in the past 11 years.” 

In the North Valleys loss, it was once again junior center Campbell Mathews leading with 16 points and 7 rebounds despite being double teamed most of the night.  Senior Addie Menke added 13 points and 9 boards in the loss.  The Lady Vikings were hampered somewhat by an ankle injury that occurred earlier in the week to their primary handler, Ava Wolfe.  Sophomore Valeria Diaz moved up from the JV this week.  She had critical minutes throughout the game.

South Tahoe bounced back on Friday with a dominating 60-27 win at Wooster to lock in the second spot and a 14-9 overall record. Mathews had another strong game with 19 points and a strong overall performance, “She has to definitely be a candidate for player of the year, ” added Neiger. 

Several others contributed to the point total with Samantha Robinson adding 13 with 3 assists, Avery Long 10 and 10 boards, and Carly Cox with eight. Diaz ran the point and finished with 4 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals.

A loss ends the boys shot at home playoff game

The Viking varsity boys went into the week looking to get two wins and join the girls’ opportunity for a home playoff game.  The week started promising with a 57-47 win over North Valleys.

Phil Adina finished with 14 points, while Kai McClain and Jay Butterfass added 12.  The Vikings started slow and were behind at the half 29-25, but stepped up the defense in the second half while holding the Panthers to just 18 points.

The Vikings needed a win Friday at Wooster to have a shot at the number two spot in league.  League tie breaker rules indicated the Vikings had to not only win, but win by six or more since they lost the first round game to Wooster by five. 

Senior Jay Butterfass takes a shot as South Tahoe boy Vikings play North Valleys on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
Provided / Phillip Bryant

It almost came to be as Wooster missed three sets of free-throws late in the game to open the door to tie the game. But the last second plays fell just short in the 53-50 loss. 

Phil Adina finished with 25 points to lead the Vikings. Ryder Tannacci finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds and McClain added a game high of 14 boards. With just two games to go, it is coming to the end of the road for seniors Adina, Jay Butterfass and Andre Smith. 

JV and Freshman continue undefeated in league play

The freshmen stand at 8-0 with their two wins during the week. On Wednesday on the road they downed the North Valleys team 48-34 with nine different players scoring.  Dylan Castellanos put in 11, Shamus Nealis added eight and Aiden Smith seven. 

Friday at Wooster was a 67-27 win as Jonah Benevidez led the way with 13 points followed by Aiden Smith’s 11, Castellanos and Tyg Garcia had eight and Caleb Hurst seven.

The freshman have just one game left in their so far undefeated league play season, showing a strong year and promising future for Viking basketball.

The JV team also stands at 8-0, with two games remaining on the schedule.  Wednesday they travel to Truckee and Friday to Sparks with the hope of finishing 10-0 in league and 17-4 overall.

In the North Valleys 59-42 win the Vikings found themselves down 29-25 at the half, but came back to outscore North Valleys 34-18 in the second half.  Five players finished in double figure scoring led by Freshmen Tyg Garcia’s 13, Caleb Holcomb’s 12. Parker Bryant and Esha Davis tossed in 11 each and Logan Kelso put in 10.  Kelso and Marcus Haven again were dominant on the rebounds as they controlled everything coming off the rim at both ends of the floor. 

Friday at Wooster, in what was expected to be a tough challenge, the junior Vikings jumped out to a 42-22 halftime lead and never looked back. It was the efficiency of their pressure defense that created some easy scoring opportunities, according to coaching staff. 

Esha Davis finished with 17, Holcomb added 16 and Bryant put in 10, including a half court shot to end the first period.  If the Vikings can close out the season with two more wins, they will complete their second straight year of being undefeated in league.

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