Carson Valley takes 38th annual Optimist Winter Classic |

Carson Valley takes 38th annual Optimist Winter Classic

The Carson Valley Tigers came away from the 38th annual Optimist Winter Classic eighth grade boys’ basketball tournament as the big winners, taking home a trophy as both tournament and free-throw shooting contest champs.

The home team, which won the consolation bracket last year, made it into the winner’s bracket with a 27-20 win over the Miners of Placer Elementary on Friday afternoon, before bowing out with a second-round loss to Marina Village, 50-32, in the quarterfinals the next morning. The Winter Classic was held Jan. 17-19 at South Tahoe Middle School. All proceeds go to benefit the school.

“I think it was a great experience for us,” said Timberwolves Head Coach Larry Reilly. “The eighth grade team hasn’t played a lot of basketball. They have improved a great deal.”

In the Placer game, the Timberwolves took an 11-10 lead into the half behind the play of Ian Rice, who had four points. He finished the game as the leading scorer for South Tahoe with eight, while Mike Anstett added six and John Filipko chipped in five.

In the quarterfinals, South Tahoe went into the half trailing 34-22 against the Mustangs and was never able to catch up. Rice was again the leading scorer with eight points, along with David Schue who also had eight. Ian Chandler and Scott Hoffman each had six points.

The Timberwolves went on to pick up another win, 33-24, over the Franklin Trojans in their final game Saturday afternoon. Rice had 12 points, Anstett had six, and Kevin Allister contributed five points. South Tahoe jumped out to an early 20-6 halftime lead and never looked back.

“We got to play some competition from California, so that was nice to play some different schools, and I think we learned a lot,” Reilly said, noting that with 23 players on the team, patience is a necessity for his young talent. “A lot had to sacrifice time to let others play (but) the kids are really great about it.

“I think it will be a good class in high school,” he added. “These are some of the nicest kids I’ve ever been around. They are easy to coach.”

In the tournament finals, Carson Valley defeated Eagle Valley, 42-15, behind Keith Olson’s game-high16 points. Bryant Falcke added six points in the win. Eagle Valley failed to score a point in the third quarter.

Ione won the consolation game on Sunday morning, 38-28, over Rolling Hills.

Devon McCole helped Carson Valley win Saturday’s free-throw shooting contest, and Scott Hoffman competed in the contest for South Tahoe.

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