Vikings nearly knock off L.A. prep school |

Vikings nearly knock off L.A. prep school

Steve Yingling / Tribune sports editorSouth Tahoe High senior Thomas Eidam, seen here pulling the trigger in the Viking Classic earlier this month, scored a career-high 25 points on Wednesday in San Pedro, Calif.

A loss wasn’t all that bad of a development for the South Tahoe High boys’ basketball team on Wednesday at the Pirate Shootout in San Pedro, Calif. Vikings’ senior Thomas Eidam busted out a career-high performance, and his teammates continued to progress in preparation for the resumption of league play next week.

Eidam hit an assortment of pull-up jumpers and converted a number of slashes to the basket en route to a career-high 25 points in the Vikings’ 70-67 defeat to West Adams Prep of Los Angeles.

“Thomas was exceptional for us tonight,” said STHS coach Chris Proctor. “He was penetrating through their gaps, and he played under control.”

In past seasons, Eidam, a third-year varsity team member, has given the Vikings a lift with his defense and hustle. On Wednesday, Eidam scored in bunches like he when he led the Vikings’ freshman team in 2006.

“It’s been quite a while. It was just one of those nights,” he said. “It was nice to take the pressure off Ricky (Braun) and Kory (DiGrande) because they have been the sparks of the team the past five games.”

Eidam also avoided foul trouble.

“I’m not playing angry anymore. I’m playing smart,” he said.

South Tahoe (4-7) had a chance to send the game into overtime after West Adams Prep missed a free throw, but the Vikings couldn’t get a good look at a potential tying trifecta.

Senior Ricky Braun scored 18 points for the Vikings, while senior McQuade Brubaker made two crucial three-pointers in the final quarter and finished with eight points. Proctor also was pleased with the effort and defensive play of junior forward Blair Berry.

“They had a lot of weapons,” Proctor said. “They had one guy who reminded me of Armon (Johnson), who was draining shots with a guy in his face. For us, it was easily our best played game of the season.”

The Vikings’ superlative effort came without injured senior forward Garrett Tinlin, a fact that is an encouraging sign to Proctor.

“To get him back into the system, I’m excited about that,” Proctor said.

South Tahoe will conclude the four-day, 16-team tournament with a noon game Thursday for 11th place. The Vikings are scheduled to play South Gate of South Gate, Calif., and Eidam expects the momentum to continue.

“We’re all just really good friends, and we’re just all really playing well together,” Eidam said. “We’re bringing those great friendships out to the court, and that works for everyone.”

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