Vikings welcome reigning state champs |

Vikings welcome reigning state champs

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

South Tahoe couldn’t ask for a more stirring matchup in its first-ever Mount Rose League boys’ basketball game on Saturday. The Vikings will meet onetime Class 4A rival Sparks, the defending Class 3A state champs, at 3:30 p.m. in South Lake Tahoe.

The new Mount Rose League, which includes all five Lake Tahoe schools, was created last spring when the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association reclassified a handful of 4A schools to the 3A.

The Vikings (6-5) extended its season-high twinning streak to three games with a 42-40 overtime win against Fernley on Friday night in Fernley. Senior Peter Pielaet-Strayer delivered another double-double with 19 points and 19 rebounds. Senior Wade Norberg contributed nine rebounds, sophomore Brandon Cramer netted six points and senior Kory DiGrande produced five points.

The Railroaders (5-3 overall) showed some rust in a 55-52 home defeat to Dayton on Tuesday night. It was Sparks’ first game since Dec. 14.

“Our practices were starting to get a little stale. I was worried about this one tonight,” Sparks coach Mike Jones told the Sparks Tribune. “We had not played in a long time and the rust showed, but you have to give Dayton credit. They got in our space. They bumped us off our routes. They played good defense.”

The Railroaders were idle on Friday night. Three of their wins have come against Lassen, Wooster and North Valleys.

Jones assumed Sparks’ head-coaching duties after the Washoe County School District placed veteran coach Dick Lee on paid administrative leave back in November. There is no timeline for Lee’s return.

Unlike the Railroaders, the Vikings were busy over the holidays, playing six games since Dec. 27. They went 2-2 in the Pirate Shootout in San Pedro, Calif., then held Fallon to a season-low 39 points in a 46-39 victory on Tuesday in South Lake Tahoe.

The Vikings enter Saturday’s league opener unbeaten in two home games.

“South Tahoe will be tough at home. We know that,” Jones told the Sparks Tribune.

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