Mountain boys are worthy competitors |

Mountain boys are worthy competitors

Staff Reports

How can the regular-season competition be any better than what South Tahoe’s Basketball Club is downing this summer.

The mountain boys once again proved worthy of competing against metropolitan teams in the De La Salle Tournament last week in Concord, Calif.

South Tahoe knocked off Clovis West of Freno by six points and Skyline of Oakland by nine points during the three-day pool tournament. Competing in the toughest of three divisions, South Tahoe also defeated the defending 4A California section champions San Rafael by 16 points and Berkeley and Arch Bishop Mitty of Santa Clara by 20 points.

“Right now, we have the team chemistry that we were looking for at midseason last year,” said South Tahoe’s Tim Sprinkles. “We have such a chemistry that when we play as a team we’re really tough to compete with. In a few games at the De La Salle tournament everything was clicking and we were playing as a team. We were making the extra pass, no one was playing as an individual and we were playing in that essence that coach loves – team basketball … then a few games we weren’t clicking.”

Tournament host De La Salle and Jason Kidd’s alma mater St. Joseph’s of Alameda were the only teams to dispatch South Tahoe, beating it by five and 12 points, respectively.

“The kids played well and hard and thought they had a real positive experience,” said South Tahoe coach Tom Orlich. “De La Salle is going to be one of the best teams in the state next year and St. Joseph’s was so darn quick and athletic, it helped our game because they are so similar to Vegas basketball.”

Orlich said stretches of good play weren’t confined to the starting unit, citing the performances of reserves James Clemmer, Erick Capellino, Ervin Joaquin and Andy Butcher.

“Travis McCollum was one of our most steady ballplayers during the course of the tournament,” Orlich said.

South Tahoe will depart on Wednesday for Florida to wrap up its comprehensive summer schedule. During the road trip South Tahoe plans to play defending Florida state champion Gainesville.

“We’re all extremely happy with the way we’ve played throughout the summer, but it’s kind of sad that it’s going by really fast,” Sprinkles said.

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