Vikings hold off Incline | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Vikings hold off Incline

Tahoe Daily Tribune Staff Reports

Dan Thrift/Tahoe Daily Tribune South Tahoe High's Casey Curcie squeezes one past an Incline defender Tuesday evening at STHS.

By Jared Green

Tribune staff writer

The South Tahoe High boys’ basketball team ended its preseason slate on a positive note on Tuesday night, beating Incline 62-59.

The Vikings led by 10 points with 2:34 remaining and a desperation 3-pointer by Incline made the score look closer than it should have been.

Casey Curcie led South Tahoe with 17 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, while Jared Wood pitched in with 15. Wood also had nine rebounds, two assists and a block, while Curcie had three rebounds, two assists and two steals.

South Tahoe won despite getting little production from leading scorer Dan Tobin, who never really got on track. The senior was scoreless in the first half and had just five points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

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“For us to win without (Tobin) playing well is a good sign,” South Tahoe head coach Derek Allister said. “We can get enough scoring from other sources to survive a game like this.”

Allister’s team looked sluggish early and trailed 22-17 before a 12-0 run put the home side up for good. The Highlanders drew within two points several times in the second half but could never quite break through to complete a comeback.

The Vikings took a 42-38 lead into the fourth quarter and were up 50-47 with four minutes left when Curcie simply took over. The junior scored seven straight points, including a rainbow, pull-up 3-pointer, to give his team a 10-point lead. The mercurial shooter was just 3-for-9 from the field in the first half and didn’t take a shot in the third quarter, but he showed why Allister counts on him for a big run every game.

“I just felt comfortable out there (in the fourth quarter),” Curcie said. “Sometimes I just feel like I can’t miss.”

Although Allister didn’t care for a quick 3-point attempt by Curcie in the game’s final minute, the coach said he doesn’t try to rein in his best shooter.

“I’ve told (Curcie) that he can shoot whenever he wants, because he’s a prolific scorer,” Allister said. “He’s really learned to let the game come to him. Tonight was typical, because he waited for the right moment to step forward.”

The Highlanders (5-5) managed to cut the South Tahoe lead to 60-56 with 16 seconds left and Curcie missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but Wood chased down the rebound and converted his free throws after being fouled. Incline’s Scott Oberly hit a long 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining to set the final score.

South Tahoe once again had a tough night from the free-throw line, making only 16 of 30, but the Vikings were 7 of 10 in the fourth quarter.

Peter Loeschner scored a game-high 22 points for Incline, while Matt Baker had 10. Eric Domingo and Mikey Van Gorden scored eight points apiece for South Tahoe.

The Vikings (4-8) open Sierra League play on Tuesday when they host league favorite Reno. With that tall task looming, Allister thinks his team is peaking at the right time after a strong showing in the Rail City Classic two weeks ago and Tuesday night’s win.

“If you look at our progress from the beginning of the season, I think we’ve come a long way,” he said. “We’re playing solid right now, but we’ve still got some things to work on.”

Notes: The South Tahoe junior varsity beat Incline, 50-47, in overtime on Tuesday… The Vikings’ freshman and junior varsity teams play North Tahoe High today, with the freshman game starting at 10 a.m. and the junior varsity scheduled to tip off at 11:30. The games were rescheduled from Monday, but the varsity game was cancelled.