South Tahoe tops Truckee in league opener
Coming off four losses to open the season, South Tahoe’s boys’ basketball team got a much-needed 52-45 win at home over league rival Truckee on Friday.
South Tahoe came out playing with a lot of intensity and that’s exactly what coach Joby Cefalu wanted to see.
“We wanted to put the pressure on and the kids did a great job of that. We generated a lot of points off our press and we’ll continue to do that all season long,” Cefalu said.
The Vikings opened the game with a 9-0 run. The rally was fueled by defensive pressure, Truckee turnovers and a string of crowd-rousing baskets by guards David Kirby and Jared Fajman.
With the early lead, South Tahoe would stay ahead of Truckee all night. The Vikings were up 14-9 at the end of the first quarter, 27-15 at halftime and 41-27 at the end of the third.
Truckee clawed back in the fourth quarter but could never close in beyond South Tahoe’s seven-point lead at the end of the game.
“I’m a little disappointed in the end,” Cefalu said of Truckee rallying back in the fourth quarter. The week before, South Tahoe saw an 18-point lead vanish in a 62-56 loss to visiting North Valley.
“I think that’s a sign of your youth, letting the team back in. Give it up to Truckee, though. They battled and never gave up.”
Nick Oberriter led the Wolverines (2-2, 0-1 I-A Northern) offensively with a game-high 24 points. Teagan Pado scored seven and Chase Vankirk scored six.
“Basically we didn’t handle the pressure very well or show enough poise,” Truckee coach Sky Nelson said of his team’s performance.
South Tahoe had a more-rounded offensive showing.
Jared Fajman and Dakoda Baca led the Vikings in scoring with 11 points each. Kirby David finished with nine and Harry Moses with eight. Denzel Perez scored five, Tyler Hogbin scored four and Stone Merkley and Sam Dixon each scored two.
“To get that win on the board was big for the kids and they earned it,” Cefalu said.
“They went out there and played their hearts out and brought a lot of intensity to the game. I’m not sure the final score is going to make the competition quiver, but as coaches we saw some great stuff we can build from.”
With the win under its belt, South Tahoe (1-4, 1-0 I-A Northern) starts a string of tough league matchups, starting with a home game against Lowry (8-1, 0-0 I-A Northern) this Friday.
“That’s going to be a big test for us. I feel this team isn’t afraid of anybody and we want to come out, compete with Lowry and hopefully show them what we’re all about,” Cefalu said.