South Tahoe girls b-ball holds off Dayton 45-40, remains unbeaten in league play | TahoeDailyTribune.com

South Tahoe girls b-ball holds off Dayton 45-40, remains unbeaten in league play

Anthony Gentile
agentile@tahoedailytribune.com

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe girls basketball team didn't have its top performance on Tuesday, Dec. 22, but it was enough for a victory. The Vikings held off Dayton after a first-half run on the way to a 45-40 win at the Blue Gym, notching a second straight win to start Div. I-A Northern League play.

"We're 2-0 and that's a good thing," Vikings coach Mike Neiger said. "We found a way to win."

South Tahoe (2-4, 2-0 I-A Northern) led by one after an even first quarter, taking a 10-9 lead on a floater from senior Annie Buchser with 22 seconds left in the frame. The Vikings started slow in the second, allowing Dayton (3-10, 0-3) to jump in front 20-14.

But before halftime, the hosts had an answer. South Tahoe closed out the first half on a 10-0 run — including three baskets from junior Drue Chapman — and kept Dayton off the scoreboard for the last 4:47 to take a 24-20 lead into the break.

“We found a way to win.”Mike NeigerVikings coach

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"There was a definitely a momentum swing there," Neiger said.

In the second half, the Vikings never trailed and kept Dayton at a distance with timely shots. South Tahoe saw its lead shrink to one midway through the third quarter after Dust Devils' senior Angela Sikora hit a 3-pointer — three of her game-high 22 points — but the Vikings answered with five straight points.

South Tahoe led 37-33 at the start of the fourth quarter, and went in front by six after junior Lexi Otis scored 40 seconds into the frame. With 6:47 left, Sikora made a 3-pointer that cut the Vikings' lead to 39-36 — but the hosts again had a response.

Sophomore Meagan Perez hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, and South Tahoe led by at least four the rest of the way. The Vikings held Dayton scoreless in the last 2:24, and prevailed to remain undefeated in league play.

"It was a sophomore coming up with a clutch shot. That was big and she stepped up," Neiger said. "In the end, they played well enough to win."

Senior Bailey Barcellos led South Tahoe with 12 points in the win, junior Claudia Janese scored nine and Buchser added eight. Eight Vikings scored in the victory.

"We have to clean up shot selection and passing lanes," Neiger said. "We need to make the easy pass rather than forcing a tough one."

Sikora's game-high total included three 3-pointers and raised her league-leading scoring average to 18.5 points per game — Barcellos covered her for most of the contest. Sophomore Elora Neep added 10 points for Dayton.

"It was mission accomplished — the idea was to not let her get a feel," Neiger said.

South Tahoe returns to action at home Saturday, Jan. 2, against Fallon. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.