Sparks neutralizes Pielaet-Strayer, tops Vikings |

Sparks neutralizes Pielaet-Strayer, tops Vikings

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

Sparks High pinpointed South Tahoe’s most consistent offensive producer through the halfway mark of the boys’ basketball season and decided to neutralize his effort on Saturday in the Mount Rose League opener for both schools.

The defending state champion Railroaders employed a box-and-one defense against Vikings’ leading scorer Peter Pielaet-Strayer, holding him without a bucket until the second half as Sparks won 51-40.

Pielaet-Strayer was limited to three first-half points, including no buckets, and finished with only eight points. He has been a consistent double-double producer throughout the Vikings’ first 11 games. The gimmick defense pits four players in a zone defense and the remaining defender playing man defense.

Sparks led by as many as seven points in the first half, but South Tahoe rallied to go ahead 22-20. Sparks, however, ended the half on a 7-0 run for a 27-24 halftime lead and never trailed again.

Sparks had three threes in the first half, with Erik Garcia leading the way with 10 total points.

After South Tahoe pulled within 32-28, Martin Jordan hit his second three of the game and Henry Banks added a transition bucket before the third quarter expired with Sparks ahead 37-28.

Sparks expanded its lead in the final quarter and withstood a pair of three-pointers by Kory DiGrande. DiGrande also sank a trifecta in the first half and finished with a team-high nine points.

The loss ended South Tahoe’s three-game winning streak and was the Vikings’ first home loss.

South Tahoe (6-6 overall) visits Dayton on Tuesday.

Sparks 51, South Tahoe 40

SPARKS — Garcia 15, Jordan 13, Devine 2, Banks 6, Morgan 6, Rodriguez 5, Chinchilla 2, Bow 2.

SOUTH TAHOE — Vasquez 5, DiGrande 9, Pielaet-Strayer 8, Norberg 2, Espinosa 2, Stowell 2, Dalton 5, Perez 2, Bongcaron 4, Quistgard 1.

Sparks 13 14 10 14 — 51

S. Tahoe 10 14 4 12 — 40

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