McQueen to provide good measuring stick for South Tahoe girls
McQueen High’s girls have been the queens of Northern Nevada 4A basketball, but this season – which starts with South Tahoe tonight – shouldn’t be an easy coronation.
While this isn’t a Lancers squad that’s ripe for the picking, it is a different McQueen team than South Tahoe has faced in recent years after losing some of its most experienced players. And the Vikings are hoping they’re a little bit different this year from the South Tahoe teams McQueen may be used to seeing. South Tahoe’s season starts with a trip to take on the Lancers at 7 p.m., but the Vikings are focusing on a wide-open Division II, and consider the nondivision games as preseason.
“You want to go in and do the best as you can and look as good as you can,” said South Tahoe head coach Tim Jaureguito, who begins his third season at the helm of South Tahoe’s team with a game against the four-time defending state-champion Lancers.
But the Lancers still should be a good measuring stick for the Vikings.
“I think it is,” Jaureguito said. “I think, if you’re going to go into it, you want to go into it playing the best teams you possibly can, so you have an idea where you stand.
“We have to execute,” he said. “We have to get out and break the press.”
Against McQueen’s vaunted pressure, the burden of getting the ball up the court will fall on guards Lindsey Hitt and Melissa Johnson. If Jaureguito decides to go small, he’ll most likely turn to one of his sophomore guards – either Amy Carter or Jen Galea – to spell 5-7 forward Cassandra Psomas. Psomas should draw a starting assignment on the forward line along with 5-9 Tirah Samura. Chantelle Young, also 5-11, returns to the team to start the season at center.
While Jaureguito has said South Tahoe would be happy never having to run a set offense if it can generate chances off of defense, the Vikings will try to keep their composure and not get in a track meet with the Lancers.
“I don’t want our girls to get into an up-and-down-the-court type of game where we’re out of control,” Jaureguito said.
South Tahoe seems ready to start reflecting how far the program has come with more entries in the win column. While there’s not significantly less sparkle on the Lancers crowns than there has been before, the Vikings are ready to start showing that progress against the four-time state champions tonight.
“It’s a good measuring stick,” Jaureguito said. “It gives us a good opportunity to see where we are right now, and where we need to go going into the league.”
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