Basketball season starts tomorrow |

Basketball season starts tomorrow

Whittell head coach Brian Mehrer demonstrates proper defensive posture during practice.

|Dan Thrift/Tahoe Tribune|

The high school basketball season begins today with the South Tahoe Vikings boys heading to Yerington and the Whittell Warriors boys’ and girls’ teams hosting the Smith Valley Bulldogs at home.

Viking coach Derek Allister returns to where he first began coaching basketball in the late 70s. This will be his first time heading back to Yerington to play basketball and, oddly enough, he will see many familiar faces.

Some of the players he coached there are now part of the Lions’ coaching staff.

“It will be an interesting feeling to walk in that gym after, you know, 21 years,” Allister said.

The 3A Lions finished last in league play in 2002 with a league record of 3-13. The Vikings finished 4A Sierra League play sixth out of seven teams at 4-8 and went 11-15 overall.

“We have to show some things that we’ve been practicing,” Allister said. “We’re going to have to show signs of progress throughout the next month. So long as we do that I’ll be happy, win, lose or whatever. But I’m very interested in beating Carson on the third of January in the conference opener.”

The Vikings play their home opener Thursday in the Viking Rotary Invitational at 7 p.m. against Buchach Colony. They play again at 7 p.m. on Friday against Soquel, and at 3 p.m. Saturday against Atwater.

The Warriors host the Bulldogs today at 6 p.m. in what appears to be a well-matched 1A /2A battle.

The Bulldogs finished first last year in 1A Northern League play at 9-1. They also finished runner-up in the 2002 NIAA 1A Northern Region Championship to Pyramid Lake and went on to lose in the first round of state against Lund.

Head Warrior coach Lindsay Wines said the Bulldogs return their two leading scorers, so the game will definitely present a challenge.

“They are a good team, and we’re going to have to play a good game to win. This is not a team that we can look past to win. They have their two main scorers back from last year,” Wines said.

Wines said the Warriors are playing well together, but are still working on the offensive plays.

The boys game at 7:30 p.m. promises to be a strong confrontation as well.

The Bulldogs finished league play at 5-3, then went on to lose in the semifinals at zone to Pyramid Lake 80-40.

Whittell finished regular season play last among five teams in the 2A Northern League at 1-7 and 3-22 overall.

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