Vikings’ difficulties continue | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Vikings’ difficulties continue

Tahoe Daily Tribune Staff Reports

By Jared Green

Tribune staff writer

It was a tale of two halves at the South Tahoe-Elko girls’ basketball game on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, neither story was very appealing to the Vikings.

After committing 18 turnovers on the way to a 22-17 halftime deficit, South Tahoe turned the ball over just three times in the second half. But the home team went as frigid as the weather outside on offense after the break, shooting just 6 for 27 from the field for a 51-34 loss to the Indians.

“I’m as frustrated as I’ve been this season, because this was a team we could have played a lot closer,” South Tahoe head coach Chris Proctor said. “We just couldn’t click tonight. I thought the girls would be up for this game, but they just weren’t for some reason.”

With leading scorer Tiffany Pinson having a rare off-night (2-11 shooting), the rest of the Vikings couldn’t pick up the slack. Erin Jamison led the team with 10 points, but all of those came in the fourth quarter when South Tahoe (1-5) was hopelessly behind. Monica Knight (nine points) was the only other Viking to score more than 3.

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Elko, on the other hand, had an incredibly balanced attack, as no Indian player scored more than 10 points and no fewer than two. Sapna Bhakta finished with 10, while Aubrey Johnston had 8.

It looked early on as if the Vikings’ full-court press would be effective as Elko (2-3) committed six turnovers in the opening minutes, staking the Vikings to a 7-2 lead. But the Indians cleaned up their act fairly quickly and took a 12-10 edge at the end of the first quarter, while South Tahoe continued to throw the ball away.

Once Elko got beyond the press into a half-court set, the Indians were patient and took advantage of backdoor cuts for layups and short runners. That cautious approach to offense led to the Indians shooting better than 50 percent (20-for-39).

“I don’t think it was so much a case of (Elko) figuring the press out as much as it was us losing our intensity,” Proctor said.

It was the third quarter, however, that made the difference. The Vikings missed their first 10 shots, going scoreless until Jessica Lopez hit a free throw with 2:52 left. By that time the Indians had extended their lead to 28-17 and South Tahoe never got closer than 10 points again.