STHS downs Damonte Ranch for second league win |

STHS downs Damonte Ranch for second league win

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor
Steve Yingling / Tahoe Daily TribuneSouth Tahoe High sophomore Blair Berry makes a pass to teammate Griffen Boles during a Sierra League home game against Damonte Ranch on Friday.

With wins difficult to come by in a talented Sierra League, South Tahoe High didn’t hesitate to throw a new wrinkle at Damonte Ranch on Friday night.

South Tahoe eschewed its regular man-to-man defense for a 2-3 zone, catching the unsuspecting Mustangs with the switch in the second half en route to a 61-57 victory.

“Our 2-3 zone, which we didn’t practice all week, was the key,” said South Tahoe coach Chris Proctor. “It just caught them off guard.”

Damonte Ranch was unable to make the Vikings pay from beyond the three-point arc, making on two three-balls.

South Tahoe (2-5 league) took advantage of the foul-plagued Mustangs late in the third quarter. After Ricky Braun found the bottom of the net with his second three-ball of the quarter, the Mustangs were whistled for a foul away from the ball. The foul put Damonte Ranch over the limit for the remaining 10 minutes, and Thomas Eidam made the Mustangs pay by hitting both free throws for a 43-36 lead.

Two outlet passes by Garrett Tinlin to Braun led to fourth-quarter layups that helped the Vikings build a 10-point lead, 52-42.

“They are turning, they are looking up the floor and they are giving it up,” said Proctor of his team’s transition offense.

But Damonte Ranch chipped away at the deficit in the final minutes by driving to the basket. Matt Nuthall’s floater in the lane cut the Vikings’ lead to 56-51 with less than two minutes to go. Braun answered with two free throws with 1:08 remaining. Even though the Vikings left some points at the foul line in the closing minutes, hustle plays by Peter Pielaet-Strayer and Kory DiGrande prevented the Mustangs from pulling closer.

“This team isn’t quitting. We need some momentum, and this is a good start to carry on,” Proctor said.

Braun topped the Vikings with 18 points and Eidam delivered 17 – many of which came in transition. Tinlin added 12 and DiGrande chipped in seven.

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