Four games, one body short in Viking league opener
Four cancelled preseason games and an injured starter are in the mix for the Vikings as they prepare for Carson on Friday in their league opener.
Dan Tobin, a 6-foot-3 junior wing, fractured his left big toe playing pickup ball during the winter break and is out for at least two weeks. He is one of the Vikings’ top three leading scorers.
That, compounded with missing the last four preseason games due to inclement weather, puts South Tahoe (3-5 overall) at a disadvantage compared with other teams in the 4A Sierra Division.
“To lose four games out of your 12 preseason games is a huge disadvantage,” said Viking head coach Derek Allister. “When you get to play a whole (preseason) slate, you get to answer some of your questions. We still have some questions unanswered.”
One of those questions will be how the team will replace Tobin.
As for the preseason games, Allister tried scheduling a game with North Tahoe. But additional weather concerns and lack of time prevailed.
“I try not to think about it,” said senior wing Phil Griffith, adding that most of varsity players have been on the same team since middle school.
Missing a week and four games may put the team at a disadvantage, but the Vikings don’t see it that way.
“If we come out with the attitude to win … that will carry us though the whole season,” said 6-foot-7 senior forward Curtis Johnson.
Carson, meanwhile, hasn’t missed a beat. They finished the preseason with a 7-6 overall record under coach Bruce Barnes and are ready to face their lake rival.
The Senators are small (none of the players are over 6-3), but they have been described as aggressive and physical and relentless on the press.
“We’re right about where we thought we would be,” Barnes said.
The height disadvantage is nothing new for the Senators, so their game has adapted by spreading out. Their biggest player, Barnes said, is also their best shooter.
“We rely on defensive pressure and transition baskets. We create problems too. If they have big guys, they have to come guard us,” Barnes said.
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