Alums show they still have game
South Tahoe High basketball fans had a rare opportunity to step back in time on Tuesday night.
Bobby Lunsford made steals and half-court bounce passes. Erick Capellino drained fadeaway baseline jumpers. Mike Neiger proved that he still owns the paint. Josh David had a jump shot to match his drive to the basket, and Matt Mora and Clint Joaquin reconfirmed that they still have NBA range from the perimeter.
The first South Tahoe Alumni Game returned the past to the present on a night that also saw the current Vikings unveil their 2007-08 varsity boys’ and girls’ teams.
The tripleheader began with the Blue Alums posting a 52-47 victory over the White Alums.
A Chris Perry-to-Tyler Pakes fastbreak and a Josh David fingerroll gave the Blue an eight-point lead with 1 minute, 45 seconds left. But the White didn’t surrender as Mora drained a three, and the White had several other opportunities to close the gap before time elasped.
“It was nice to play on the floor again. It brings back old memories,” said Neiger, a member of the Vikings’ first state championship team in 1986-87.
Neiger delivered 10 points for the White, but he was glad that his former coach, Tom Orlich, wasn’t in the crowd.
“There was no boxing out, laxing on defense and no sprinting back on defense. He wouldn’t have approved,” Neiger said.
There was even a few winded players who hadn’t been on a basketball court in some time.
“I’ll feel it tomorrow,” said STHS football coach Chris Morgan as he headed for the comfort of the locker room.
Mora, who played collegiately at Chemeketa in Salem, Ore., made five three-pointers and led all scorers with 19 points. All nine of Joaquin’s points came from beyond the arc.
But in the end, the Blue had too many contributors as David scored nine, Perry eight, Capellino seven and Lunsford and Sean Sweeney six.
Alexis Holmes, Tess Braun and Jordan Dalton helped lead the Blue to a 31-25 victory over the White in the girls’ varsity intrasquad game. Cassandra Diaz and Alexis Nunes-Fenley kept the White close.
The Vikings, who are coached by Chris Holmes, open their season on Thursday at Colfax.
New varsity boys’ coach Chris Proctor, who came up with the idea for the alumni game, divided his team for a 30-minute game to wrap the evening.
Seniors Tony Stagnaro and Vince Capellino led their respective teams with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Kyle Dupree thrived in the paint, scoring eight points, and Danny Vallejo sank a pair of treys for six points. For the record, the White, led by Stagnaro and Dupree, beat the Blue 32-25.
The Viking Classic begins Thursday, and STHS will open its season a day later with a doubleheader.
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Strong wind has led to multiple power outages Tuesday morning and a pair of Lake Tahoe ski resorts will not open due to the strong gusts.