South Tahoe routes Whittell 54-28 |

South Tahoe routes Whittell 54-28

Joe Proudman
Joe Proudman / Tahoe Daily Tribune

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. (TDT) – It had the makings of a rivalry game. The crowd was loud, there was plenty of history between the two teams, and there was even a bit of blood. In the end though, it wasn’t much of a game, as South Tahoe ran away with a decisive win, 54-28, on the Warriors court on Tuesday night in Mount Rose play.

Last year Whittell took two games from Tahoe, almost keeping them out of the playoffs. This year though has started out a much differently.

“For us we lost two games to them last year and five of the guys remember it… it was hard on them,” said South Tahoe coach Chris Proctor. “Last year was tough because of how it effected the boys.”

Tuesday’s game started tight, with Whittell leading 7-6 after the first quarter, which included 10 turnovers by South Tahoe, to Whittell’s five. But Whittell came out of the first quarter with key a player injured, after Hayden Bronken and the Warriors leading scorer Austin Neil collided while going for the ball. Both ended up with cuts that required stitches, and forced them to miss the rest of the half. They returned in the third quarter.

“Disappointing with the inadvertent head butt. That obviously changed the dynamic of the whole game,” said Whittell head coach Matt Bryant.

Bryant said Neil is hard to replace on the court, as he is a key ball handler and perimeter shooter for the Warriors. But he wasn’t making excuses for his teams lack of offense.

“They outplayed us with the men on the floor. Seemed to have a bigger, more athletic team,” Bryant said. “I think South Tahoe played hard. I think they were faster to the ball and aggressive.”

South Tahoe had two large sparks in the second quarter, in which they had a 12-0 run. Kyante Wilson blocked a Rodney Aguirre-Rodriguez shot near the top of the key, which led to a John Cefalu fast-break basket.

“He’s (Wilson) got a great shot block,” Proctor said. “It kind of started everything for us.”

On the inbound after Cefalu’s breakaway, South Tahoe’s Chris Digrande stole the ball and put up a bucket off the glass. Proctor said Digrande is known as a defensive player, and that score pumped the team up even more.

“For him to steal it and put it back in was a real big key for us,” he said

Right after that, Jacob Stowell scored on another Whittell turnover, leaving the Warriors to call timeout with the score 16-7.

Whittell was outscored 30-11 in the first half, and couldn’t make up the deficit in the second, managing only eight points in the third quarter and nine in the fourth. Stowell led South Tahoe with 12 points, while Brandon Cramer had 10. Austin Buyak led Whittell with a game high 17 points. Only three other guys scored for Whittell on the night.

South Tahoe is 2-1 in league play, while Whittell is 1-1.

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