Carson boys and girls basketball bests South Tahoe |

Carson boys and girls basketball bests South Tahoe

Matt O'Neill

The Carson basketball programs came up the hill and left with a pair of wins. The Senator girls defeated the South Tahoe Vikings 45-38, while the boys bested South Tahoe, 68-63.

The Viking boys had to play from behind for the entire contest, but were able to stay within striking distance. The spread stayed at about six-to-10 points. South Tahoe fell behind by nine or 10 points, then cut the lead to four, before Carson extended it again.

“We’ve come a long way,” Viking coach Derek Allister said. “But tonight we were back to making stupid mistakes.

“When you lose by six points, you don’t want silly mistakes.”

The Vikings were within five at halftime, mainly on the strong inside-out game of senior point guard Chris Ortiz, who had 12 points at intermission.

But he got into foul trouble in the third quarter, picking up his fourth foul on a drive to the lane.

With Ortiz in foul trouble, the Vikings only managed 12 points in the third period, allowing the Senators to open up an 11-point lead.

“Their shooting was on, everything went in tonight,” said Ortiz, who ended with 18 points. “I was afraid (to pick up my third foul), which was great in a way because it allowed us to work our offense.”

The Vikings used in-your-face defense and patient offense to work their way back into the game. In the fourth quarter, South Tahoe held the Senators to only two baskets from the floor, but it was Carson’s eight of 11 from the free-throw line that kept the lead just out of the reach of the Vikings.

“They played well. We had a hard time with Cody ( Longero) and Vince (Inglina),” Allister said. “But it was McKenzie that killed us, he hit a couple of big threes.”

The Vikings head into the second half of the division season with one win and four losses, making each game more and more important. Starting with Friday’s game at Wooster, the Vikings are in a must-win situation.

“That is a need-to-win game for us,” Ortiz said. ” We have to win the rest of our games.”

The girls made some great strides despite dropping the game to the Senators. The Vikings continued to play tough, aggressive defense, but it was the slow first half that proved to be too much for South Tahoe to overcome.

Although the Vikings were down only four at the break, they couldn’t take the lead in the second half, despite playing the Senators to a tie in the third quarter.

“I thought we played well,” Viking coach Tim Jaureguito said. “They put a good effort out there.”

In the second half, the Vikings lived and died by the 3-point shot, making all four of their field goals from beyond the arc in the third period. Lindsey Hitt and Amy Carter accounted for all the South Tahoe scoring in the second half, with Hitt scoring all the points in the fourth quarter on her way to a game-high 21.

“I didn’t even notice because everyone was moving and giving it their all until the end,” Hitt said. “We hadn’t had that kind of effort in a long time, it was good to see.”

The Vikings just couldn’t bring the gap as the Senators outscored them by five points in the fourth quarter.

“Down the stretch we just missed some key shots,” Jaureguito said. “We had a couple of opportunities to score some baskets to get within three points but couldn’t get it down.”

Next up for the girls is a trip to Wooster to begin the second half of league play.

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