Nine South Tahoe grapplers medal at Couch tourney |

Nine South Tahoe grapplers medal at Couch tourney

South Tahoe High’s wrestlers posted their first dual-meet win of the year and took nine individual medals from Saturday’s home-mat Randy Couch Invitiational.

The Vikings finished 1-3, fourth among the five teams at the meet, but won their first dual of the season, beating a combined team from North Tahoe and Bishop Manogue 58-18. Beyer, from Modesto, Calif., was the top team at the 20th annual Randy Couch Invitational, finishing with a 4-0 record in its duals at the tournament, ahead of Jacobson-China Spring (3-1), Carson’s B team (2-2), South Tahoe and North Tahoe-Manogue (0-4).

“It was the right kind of tournament for this team at this time,” said South Tahoe head coach Tom Barnes, whose squad won a dual match for the first time in more than five years. The field for the Couch Invitational was smaller than it had been in previous years, and included building programs, but Barnes arranged for South Tahoe to meet teams that also are in a rebuilding phase, and set up a day of dual meets to provide more mat time for the young wrestlers.

“I was pleased that the level of wrestling allowed the kids to perform longer and perform more moves and put moves together to put points on the board – and, actually, wins on the board,” Barnes said.

South Tahoe also had its individual stars: Junior Cavin Ross stayed undefeated through the tournament, and captured outstanding-wrestler honors in the 119-pound class with a 4-0 record. Cavin Ross’s twin brother, Brad, was second in the 130-pound class, but helped keep the tournament interesting with one of his pins. The twins mirrored each other against different opponents, each gaining a pin through a guillotine move.

In the 103-pound weight class, South Tahoe freshman Danny Lucero took third, earning a pin in his first match. At 135 pounds, Rook Naccarato was second with a 2-2 tournament.

“He’s in a tough class, and he put a lot of moves together,” Barnes said. “A lot of wrestlers really came along and showcased some talent or some work that was exemplary of where they’re at.”

South Tahoe’s Brian Burns was second among the 140-pound wrestlers, finishing with a 2-1 record, and Derek Naccarato was second at 145 pounds, finishing 2-2 on the day. Teammate Ghombu Sherpa earned a third-place finish in the 152-pound division, Ryan Davis a second at 160 pounds and Sedu Samura third at 215 pounds.

While the Vikings lost three duals – to Carson, Jacobson and Beyer, South Tahoe won its first dual of the year in the third round against North Tahoe-Manogue. The Vikings forfeited just two weight classes in the match.

“I’m really plased that the kids had a surprise dual win,” Barnes said. “That’s a nice notch in the belt to let them know they’re improving as a team and they’re improving as a program.”

The tournament was the 20th as the Randy Couch Invitational, and continued a tradition South Tahoe started in 1975 with the South Tahoe Invitational wrestling tournament. The school changed the tournament’s name in 1981 to honor the memory of standout wrestler Randy Couch, who died in a 1980 car accident.

Martin leads Nordic Vikings into third

South Tahoe’s Nordic ski team climbed to new heights both on the race course and in the standings during Friday’s 5-kilometer classic race at Mammoth, Calif.

Senior Cory Martin had the best finish for the year – fourth-place – lead South Tahoe to third in the team’s third race of the year. While Martin finished higher than any Vikings racer this season, the Vikings climbed higher than they have this season, racing over 9,000 feet above sea level at Red Lake, near Mammoth.

Martin finished in 20 minutes, 58.2 seconds, to take fourth behind winner Louis Van Blarigan (18:54.4) of Truckee, Wolverines teammate Nick Sterling (19:38.2) and Dana Mossman of Nevada Union, Calif., (19:58.6).

“That was an excellent finish,” said South Tahoe head coach Lynn Harriman. “He had a good race, he skied well, he felt he had good wax. Everything fit together nicely.”

Jeff Koeck was the next Vikings racer across the line, finishing 15th in 22:10, Ryan Nibouar was 24th in 24:58.6, and Adam Matzinger was 31st in 29:23.0.

South Tahoe’s girls helped the Vikings solidify their position, holding off co-host Lee Vining for a third-place finish. Without racer Denise Bogard, South Tahoe’s three remaining varsity racers managed to finish six points ahead of Lee Vining, which received all its points from race winner Jessica Ford (22:49.6). Lisa Orr was South Tahoe’s top racer, finishing in 27:59.8, ahead of Marin St. Michel (14th, 29:27.3) and Mindy Manglinong (16th, 30:15.1).

South Tahoe’s Nordic racers return to action on Saturday with an all-league race at Auburn. The 6K race is the final classical-technique race of the season.

South Tahoe boys escape Wooster with hoops win

South Tahoe’s boys had to make up six points in less than three minutes on Friday to force overtime and escape from Wooster with a 70-68 league basketball win.

The Vikings trailed the host Colts by 10 in the fourth quarter, and cut the lead to six with 2 minutes, 45 seconds to go. Senior guard Matt Williams and forward Andy Butcher each hit 3-pointers to make up the deficit, and the Vikings forced two key turnovers to gain possession for the last shot. South Tahoe couldn’t convert, but had two more points than Wooster in overtime for the win. The Vikings improved to 15-4 overall, 3-1 in Northern Nevada 4A Division II play.

“Obviously, we’re not playing good basketball, and we have to do better if we want to make a run for the title,” said South Tahoe head coach Tom Orlich, whose team lost the week’s other road game at Reno on Tuesday. “This past week wasn’t a good one for South Tahoe.”

While Orlich said both teams were playing hard, Wooster seemed to be enjoying better luck shooting. South Tahoe’s shots weren’t falling, and Wooster staked its lead. Bob Larmore led South Tahoe with 14 points, but South Tahoe struggled offensively.

“Quite frankly, I don’t think anybody had an outstanding game,” Orlich said. “We had a lot of defensive errors and a lot of missed shots, and if we play like that again, we’ll lose.”

South Tahoe is off at the beginning of the week for exams, then returns to action on Friday with a 7 p.m. home game against Fallon. The Vikings play host to Hug on Saturday for a 5 p.m. game.

ROP avenges season hoops opener, beats Whittell

After opening the season with a home loss at the hands of Whittell, Rite of Passage evened the season basketball series with a 54-51 win at Whittell on Friday.

The difference, to Warriors head coach Steve Maltase, was simple:

“About four of five guys they didn’t have before,” he said.

“I thought both teams have improved a lot,” Maltase said. “It was a good game from start to finish.”

Rite of Passage’s David Simmons finished with a game-high 20 points, and Avery Norman led Whittell with 17. After a 40-40 tie at the end of the third quarter, Whittell staked a five-point lead, but couldn’t put the Raiders away. Rite of Passage made up the deficit, and took a three-point lead with time winding down. Whittell had the ball with a chance to tie, but couldn’t get a shot off as time expired.

Even though Whittell (6-8 overall, 2-1 in Northern Nevada 3A Division II, third behind unbeaten Manogue and Lovelock) lost the rematch of the season opener for both teams, Maltase was happy with the experience. The Warriors expect to see similar defense when they travel to Hawthorne in a 7:30 p.m. game Friday.

“We have a feeling that Hawthorne’s got to play a lot of zone, so it was a really good game for us to work on our offense,” Maltase said. “I know it’s finals week, but we’ve got to have a good week of practice and try to get out there and get a win Friday.”

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