Experienced Vikings seeking playoff berth | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Experienced Vikings seeking playoff berth

There wasn’t any hesitation in her voice. When asked what the goal is for the South Tahoe girls’ basketball team, Karli Vath answered the question like a captain should.

“Let’s just publicly announce it – we want to make it to the playoffs this year,” Vath said. “And I think we have the team to do it.”

Third-year coach Chris Holmes also believes all the pieces of the puzzle are there, but he isn’t going to pencil in the Vikings into the Northern 4A regional tournament just yet.

“I think playoffs are a realistic goal, but we have to play for four quarters,” Holmes said. “We were a three-quarters team last year. We were really competitive in the first half and were right there with the best teams, but we came out flat a lot of times in the third quarter. To me, that means we had to work on our conditioning.”

The Vikings, who open the season today at Colfax, haven’t qualified for the postseason since 1996 when Dave Barich was head coach. But with seven seniors and a slew of talented shooters, STHS feels this could be the year to break its playoff drought.

At 6-foot-1, Tiffany Lueder will be the team’s primary post player, but Alexis Nunes-Fenley (5-foot-9) and Alexis Holmes (5-foot-7) will also contribute inside. But as much as those players will be needed to counter the tall lineups of Reno and Douglas, South Tahoe’s focus will be playing to its strengths on the perimeter.

Four-year varsity player Tess Braun, Adara Munoz, Jordan Dalton, Cassandra Diaz and Vath all have the speed to wreak havoc on their opponents defensively. The Vikings hope that defensive pressure parlays into easy transition baskets.

“We will be the fastest team out there, no doubt,” Braun said. “I think everyone is pretty focused and excited for this season. All of us seniors have been playing together since the seventh grade.”

Despite all the optimism, Holmes realizes much work is still to be done. After all, Reno is considered the league favorite once again and he feels Douglas should challenge Reno for the Sierra League title.

“And you never what will happen with the other teams,” Holmes said. “We have to play up-tempo, almost small ball, so I think transition is going to be key for us. All of our girls can shoot. Top to bottom, we’re good this year. We work hard in practice and play with a lot heart, but we have to stay focused all game.”

Vikings Glance

Coach: Chris Holmes (third season)

Last year: 5-15 overall, 2-12 league, didn’t qualify for Northern 4A regional tournament

Key returners: Karli Vath (Sr.), Tess Braun (Sr.)

Key losses: Coral Warren, Bekah Owen, Janell Contaxis

Season Opener: Today at Colfax

Home opener: Dec. 18 vs. Hug

STHS Schedule

Date Opponent Time

Today Colfax 5:15 p.m.

Dec. 6-8 Reno tourney TBA

Dec. 11 Dayton 7 p.m.

Dec. 18 Hug 5:15 p.m.

Dec. 20 Damonte 5:15 p.m.

Dec. 22 Argonaut 3:15 p.m.

Dec. 27-29 El Dorado Invite TBA

Jan. 8 Reno 5:15 p.m.

Jan. 11 Wooster 5:15 p.m.

Jan. 18 North Valleys 5:15 p.m.

Jan. 19 Douglas 3:15 p.m.

Jan. 22 Carson 5:15 p.m.

Jan. 25 Hug 5:15 p.m.

Jan. 26 Damonte 3:15 p.m.

Jan. 29 Reno 5:15 p.m.

Feb. 1 Wooster 5:15 p.m.

Feb. 4 Douglas 5:15 p.m.

Feb. 5 Carson 5:15 p.m.

Feb. 8 North Valleys 5:15 p.m.

Note: Home games are in bold.

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