South Tahoe girls hoops captures share of league title; Season ends in playoffs |

South Tahoe girls hoops captures share of league title; Season ends in playoffs

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The South Tahoe Vikings girls’ basketball team closed out the league season with three straight wins to finish with a 9-1 record and claim a share of the league championship with North Valley.  

Those three wins, 44-43 over Wooster, 53-38 over Truckee and 53-17 over Sparks, put the Vikings into the D3 regionals as the number 6 seed. That might seem a little unusual for a co-championship team to be placed at the number 6 spot but that is the result of a newly incorporated point system that awards two points for wins against the D3 East teams and one point for wins against the West teams.  

First up for the Vikings in the regionals was No. 3 seed Lowry. 

Coach Mike Nieger said, “It was a tough draw for us since we had lost to them 68-27 earlier in the year. We knew we had to make some adjustments and the staff got together and came up with what we felt would give us the best chance to win. We played hard but had trouble getting the looks we wanted on offense. The final score was 45-30 in favor of Lowry but it was a 23-point defensive improvement. Plus it proved we could play with anyone.”

There were some great highlights from the season and Neiger was quick to point out that, “Injuries played a key role in defining our season. We had a 0-9 start with Ivy Gonzalez, Ava Wolfe, Addie Menke and others missing a large part of the early season. We then closed with a 13-3 finish so it was like having two separate seasons in one.

“Ivy Gonzalez had huge games against co-champion North Valley with 26 points and 14 rebounds in the first game and 26 points and 10 rebounds in the critical second game,” Neiger added. “Ivy was the league’s MVP last year and will surely have votes for that honor again.”  

Neiger spoke about other big moments, including, “Senior Kiva Davis making huge steals and causing jump balls in the closing seconds of the Truckee game. She was playing in the great tradition of Jared Haas by being all over the floor fighting for loose balls. At one point we were down 20 and that comeback proved we could play with anyone on any night. Then there was Junior Ava Wolfe knocking down a critical 3-pointer against Wooster with just seconds to go to seal the win. Everyone contributed this year and made it fun to practice and watch each person and the team improve over the course of the year.”

It was a solid year for the Vikings and even with six seniors moving on the future looks bright with eight returnees to next year’s team and some key players moving up from the freshmen and JV teams. Both teams showed progress throughout the season and players were getting better.

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