Defense is tough, but Vikings struggle to score
December 18, 2003
By Jared Green
Tribune staff writer
There was a power outage at the South Tahoe High gym on Thursday night. No, the lights didn’t go out; it was the Vikings’ offense that was without electricity.
The Vikings (3-8) suffered through a miserable shooting performance in losing to Sutter High, 34-30. Chris Proctor’s squad was just 10-for-43 from the floor, and while South Tahoe’s defense was a marked improvement over previous efforts, the lack of an inside game doomed the home team.
“We’ve been working so much on defense, we’re just not thinking very offensively right now,” Proctor said. “We just hope to get good shots from the outside and they weren’t falling tonight.”
Indeed, leading scorer Tiffany Pinson missed her first 11 shots, eight of them from behind the arc. The two times the senior guard attempted to drive during the first half she was called for a charge and had her shot blocked. Without her guidance the offense ground to a halt.
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Pinson was the driving force behind the Vikings’ good defensive effort, racking up seven steals and seven rebounds. After giving up 17 points in the first quarter, South Tahoe began to force turnovers and plug the lane against the Huskies, who went scoreless for 7:13 leading into halftime.
Unfortunately, the Vikings couldn’t translate that into points of their own. With no penetration against the collapsing Sutter zone, most possessions ended with Pinson or Erin Jamison jacking up a long-range shot. Jamison made three of her bombs, scoring a team-high 10 points, while Pinson scored six of her eight points in the fourth quarter.
The Viking trailed 27-19 at the start of the final period and didn’t score for nearly five minutes. A Pinson steal and layup, her first field goal of the game, made the score 29-21 and Pinson hit a jumper to pull STHS within 34-28 with 50 seconds left.
The Vikings’ press started to work in earnest in the late going as Sutter (5-3) turned the ball over three times and missed two free throws, but South Tahoe couldn’t get any closer than four points after Pinson made a layup with 10 seconds left.
The Vikings have a two-week break during which Proctor will try to breathe some life into the offense. The coach said he expects guards Bailey Flood and Monica Knight to become bigger parts of the offense, taking some of the load from Pinson. But he also wants to tighten up his team’s defense, which is still plagued by missed assignments.
“We’re still in need of a lot of work on fundamentals,” Proctor said. “Our defense and rebounding have to be the backbone of what we do.”
South Tahoe 63, Huntington Beach 55 (OT)
Casey Curcie hit a leaning 15-footer with 3 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and the Vikings held Huntington Beach to one point in the extra period to win at the Rail City Classic on Thursday afternoon in Reno.
The game was tightly contested the whole way, with Huntington Beach leading 44-43 going into the fourth quarter. The Southern California squad took a 54-52 lead with 25 seconds left before Curcie’s game-saving shot, then Dan Tobin and Eric Domingo each hit 3-pointers in overtime as STHS pulled away. The Vikings made a season-high eight 3-pointers.
“We just kind of hung in there and got solid contributions from a lot of people,” South Tahoe head coach Derek Allister said. “We overcame a team that was much bigger than us.”
Curcie scored a game-high 24 points, while Domingo pitched in with a season-high 12. Leading scorer Tobin had a rough game, but he scored four of his six points in the overtime period.
North Tahoe 48, Whittell 35
The Warriors’ girls had their lowest offensive output of the season against the Lakers, which Whittell head coach Nathan Tolbert blamed on the referees.
“I’ve never said we lost a game because of the officiating, but today we weren’t allowed to play,” Tolbert said, pointing to a 26-12 free-throw advantage for the home team. “My girls were mentally taken out of the game by the officiating.”
North Tahoe picked up its first win of the season following three losses, getting 18 points from Jessie Hester and 12 from Kailey Rowan. Whittell (3-3) was led by 11 points by Whitney Gielow.
The Whittell girls’ junior varsity team won its ninth game in a row, a 38-31 victory.