Vikings even Sierra League record
All of the signs were present for South Tahoe High to suffer its second straight demoralizing Sierra League defeat.
Wooster converted its second three-point basket of the final quarter to take a one-point lead, and the Vikings weren’t taking very good care of the basketball.
But the Vikings regrouped and made all of the key plays in the final two minutes to post a 52-45 boys’ basketball victory over the Colts on Thursday night in South Lake Tahoe.
“I wasn’t really concerned because I was so convinced that our team could pull it out,” said STHS coach Chris Proctor of his team’s late one-point deficit. “I felt confident that we could overcome that if we played our kind of basketball.”
Junior guard Kory DiGrande ignited an 8-1 Vikings’ tear to finish the game by canning a perimeter jump shot that gave his team the lead for good.
“It’s good to go into the break at least one and one,” DiGrande said of the Vikings’ 1-1 league mark. “We were hoping to come out a little bit stronger, but it doesn’t always go that way.”
Ricky Braun followed with a pair of pressure-packed shots at the foul line, and Griffen Boles made a steal and converted the front end of a nerve-racking one-and-one at the foul line, putting the Vikings ahead 48-45 with 21.7 seconds remaining.
When Boles missed the second shot, it turned into a positive for the Vikings as Peter Pielaet-Strayer ripped the rebound away from a Colt along the baseline and powered up to the basket for the clinching basket.
“I’ve been on (Peter) hard. I expect so much of that guy. He has potential to have more games like his 15-point, 11-rebound game at the Viking Classic,” Proctor said. “I want him to play harder, and he did. “
Braun added two more free throws to give the Vikings their seven-point win. For the game, Braun made 9 of 10 at the line and finished with a team-high 12 points. Pielaet-Strayer added 11 points and eight rebounds, while McQuade Brubaker and Thomas Eidam chipped in eight points apiece.
Wooster was led by Trevor Johns with 11 points and Cody Griffith with 10.
The Vikings (3-5 overall) will resume action Dec. 28-31 at the San Pedro Invitational. Until then, Proctor will he looking to get more out of his players.
“I’m not happy where they are at. I told them, ‘Don’t be happy, be hungry,’ Proctor said. “Their effort is there, their intensity is there, but there are certain skill plays and finesse things that we need them to work harder on.
“We scraped one out, but I have higher expectations for this team.”
The Vikings played without senior Garrett Tinlin, who sprained two ankle ligaments in Tuesday’s loss to Carson. Tinlin is expected to be out two to three weeks.
South Tahoe’s junior varsity was unable to hold a halftime lead and lost to Wooster 50-45.
The Vikings’ freshman team blistered Wooster 74-56 in Reno.
“Our team came off a tough loss against Carson and took it to a very strong Wooster group,” said STHS coach Joby Cefalu.
Bobby Perez led six Vikings in double figures, scoring 15 points. Brandon Cramer added 11, John Cefalu 10, Cody Higgins 10, Jason Rogers 10 and Kyante Wilson nine.
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