Crazy series of events in STHS victory | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Crazy series of events in STHS victory

Steve Yingling and Jeremy Evans

Blame it on Friday the 13th.

How else could you explain North Valleys having an opportunity for a nine-point possession trailing by five points with less than a minute to play on Friday night at South Tahoe High School.

The blue gym doors must have been left open. A comeback cat entered and nearly frightened the Vikings out of an important division victory.

But senior guard Conor Freeman put the black cat out, sinking six clutch free throws, giving the Vikings a 67-62 Sierra Division boys’ basketball victory over the Panthers.

The bizarre sequence of events started with Bryan Coursey hitting a fallaway three-pointer from the right wing while being fouled by Jared Wood. The foul cost Wood his playing privileges for the remaining 43 seconds. The STHS student body protested the foul and one fan even tossed a water bottle on the court. The projectile cost the Vikngs a techical foul, giving Coursey two additional free throws.

STHS coach Derek Allister took a moment to speak to the student body by microphone, warning them that another incident would force him to take his team off the court and forfeit.

“That was a tough pill to swallow at the moment, but we have the best student body for basketball in the league,” Allister said. “If there are 300 kids up there, it only takes one to be a yahoo.”

Fortunately for the Vikings, Coursey only made 1 of 3 attempts and then missed a layup on the ensuing possession.

“I thought we were gonna have to make some plays. We were lucky we were still up,” Freeman said. “I was pretty nervous when he was taking them.”

A Freeman three throw put the Vikings ahead 62-60, but North Valley missed a layup and an open three-point look on its next possession.

The Panthers fouled to keep the clock from running out. After being fouled by Archie Kovich, Freeman drained two more free throws to give the Vikings a 64-60 lead with 8.8 seconds remaining. Coursey’s follow shot pulled North Valleys to within two points with 2.6 ticks left, but the Panthers stopped the clock with a time-out they didn’t have, giving STHS two technical foul shots. Freeman made both and another before the clock ran out as STHS got off to its best division start (3-1) under Allister, who is in his sixth year with the Vikings.

“Win or lose, I love games like that, because that’s what it is all about,” Allister said.

South Tahoe had trouble preventing the Panthers from driving the lane in the second quarter and fell behind 35-29 at the break. The Panthers also hit their share of trifectas and built their lead to as many as seven points in the third quarter.

“We were playing into their hands,” Freeman said. “They were running up and down. We run up and down, but we like to run sets, too.”

But the Vikings rallied behind their three-headed senior monster of Wood, Freeman and Joel Keegan. They combined for 50 of the Vikings’ 67 points.

Freeman scored all 12 of his points – including a pair of three-pointers – after halftime.

“I didn’t get any open looks and we weren’t running any sets out of our offense,” Freeman, who ran the point after halftime. “The first play of the half I ran one down and that’s my play, and I hit the three and got confident.”

STHS (10-6 overall), tied with Reno for second place in the Sierra, will play host to fourth-place Douglas (2-1) on Friday.

STHS girls beaten by N.V.

North Valleys outscored South Tahoe 18-3 in the third period to break open a Sierra Division girls’ basketball game.

The Panthers led 25-13 at halftime and expanded their lead to 27 points going into the final period.

Katelyn Pakes and Tess Braun led the Vikings with 10 and eight points, respectively.

South Tahoe (0-4 division, 1-7 overall) will play host to Douglas on Friday and travel to Carson on Saturday.

Although Whittell girls’ basketball coach Nathan Tolbert is missing two starters, he still expects a victory. Even without Kelly Karmann and leading scorer Katrina Kacirek, he thinks the other players can get the job done.

“I believe in all my kids because they all have their strengths,” Tolbert said. “Speed was our thing this year and Katrina is the fastest person we got. Since she’s been out, we’ve been figuring out what to do.”

Following the Warriors’ 64-31 Northern 2A loss Friday night at Lovelock, Tolbert is still figuring out what style to play. The Mustangs really weren’t interested in waiting around for that style as they opened up an early lead and never allowed Whittell back into the game.

“They kind of jumped on us early and we ran out of gas in the middle of the third quarter,” Tolbert said.

Jessica Woods led the Warriors with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Megan Esquivel added seven points and seven rebounds for Whittell (12-5 overall, 0-2 league). Kendra Koskin chipped in with six points and nine rebounds.

The Warriors opened the season by winning 12 of their first 13 games but have lost four straight and are 12-5 on the season. Kacirek is expected back this week from a knee injury, while Karmann is recovering from jaw surgery performed in December.

Whittell plays at Silver Stage on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Teply leads WHS boys

Nick Teply scored a team-high 15 points and Chris Craig added 13 as the Whittell boys’ basketball team lost to Lovelock 76-39 in a Northern 2A game on Friday in Lovelock.

After scoring 22 points in a win over Pyramid Lake on Wednesday, Jeff Young was held scoreless for the first time all season against the Mustangs. Young leads Whittell in scoring at 16 points per game.

“Jeff is up there and Chris is averaging just over 15 a game,” said WHS coach Dennis Young. “We need both of them to hit their average for us to have a chance. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened much this season.”

Whittell (3-13 overall, 0-2 league) plays at Silver Stage on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday’s games ppd.

Whittell’s varsity basketball teams were scheduled to play Hawthorne on Saturday in Zephyr Cove. However, the Serpents made it only as far as Carson City before turning around because of bad weather.

A makeup date for the games hasn’t been set.

The Hawthorne junior varsity basketball teams, though, traveled in a different bus that left earlier in the day and won both JV contests.


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