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Nordic Vikings take third at state, but season goes one more week

Legend has it, if the South Tahoe High Nordic ski team finishes third and then sees its shadow, there will be at least one more week of winter.

There will be one more week of winter competition for the Vikings cross country ski team, anyway, which wrapped up third place on Saturday at the California-Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation’s state championship Nordic meet at the Auburn Nordic Club. South Tahoe finished third in both the girls and boys division, behind North Tahoe and Truckee in both.

“It’s what we were shooting for, and this is the best we’ve done in my three years as coach,” said Vikings Nordic head coach Lynn Harriman.



The fresh snow on the course meant the 7-kilometer freestyle favored racers who were well-conditioned and light on their feet, according to Harriman. Louis Van Blarigan of Truckee was the top racer in the varsity boys division, finishing in 26 minutes, 54.9 seconds, leading Nevada Union (Nevada City, Calif.) skier Ian Case and the Prosser Creek Charter School’s Scott Hill onto the podium. Cory Martin was South Tahoe’s top boy, finishing seventh, in 29:21.3, and Jeff Koeck was 13th in 30:43.2, as both earned medals. Ryan Nibouar was 23rd for South Tahoe, and Adam Matzinger 31st.

Martin was sixth overall in the final individual standings, and Koeck was 14th.



In the girls varsity race, Jessica Ford of Lee Vining was the top skier, with a time of 31:03.7, leading North Tahoe’s Laura Spohr and Truckee’s Betsy Van Blarigan onto the podium. Denise Bogard was the first Viking across the line, finishing 12th in 40:13.3. Marin St. Michel was three skiers behind her, in 15th and 43:22.1. Both medaled. Lisa Orr was 17th and Mindy Manglinong 18th for the Vikings.

Lisa Orr was 11th in the season standings, and St. Michel 15th.

Vikings’ Dena Tam (fifth) and Samantha Urch (sixth) both medaled, as South Tahoe’s junior varsity girls were second. Graham St. Michel was ninth in the JV race, leading teammates Steve Moore, Adam Wolfe, Jonathan Golden, Ryan MacLeod and Amir Misaghi to a fourth-place team finish.

South Tahoe’s Nordic season wraps Friday with a fun 3x3K obstacle relay at North Tahoe. The boys start at 10:30, the girls at 11:30.

South Tahoe boys roll into playoffs on winning note

South Tahoe boys basketball coach Tom Orlich wasn’t concerned with how close his team came to an outright division championship on Friday.

The Vikings (23-4 overall, 11-1 in Northern Nevada 4A Division II) finished their regular season with a share of the division championship after winning 68-58 at Fallon on Friday. The Vikings enter the playoffs as the No. 2 seed from the division behind Reno (also 23-4, 11-1) by virtue of the head-to-head point differential tiebreaker. But Reno just barely held its top seed on Friday.

Reno – which beat South Tahoe by 11 on Jan. 11 before losing by two Tuesday in South Lake Tahoe – trailed by one point at Douglas with 1.2 seconds left before winning on the last gasp. Still, sole possession of the division crown wasn’t the goal for Orlich or his players.

“That’s all we wanted, to be honest with you,” Orlich said.

“We also wanted to go out on a good note into the playoffs.”

Senior guard John Giannoni III led South Tahoe with 22 points on Friday, and senior forwards Andy Butcher and Travis McCollum chipped in 22 points, and eight points and eight rebounds, respectively.

The Vikings draw Elko (17-11, 5-5 in Division I), the third seed from Division I for Tuesday’s playoff game in South Lake Tahoe. The Indians beat eventual Division I champs Galena earlier this season, and could have locked down the division championship with a win on Friday, but tumbled to third with a loss. Elko has made one trip to South Tahoe this season – for December’s Viking Rotary Classic – but did not play the host team. Senior center Sean Paul, a 6-9 Nevada recruit, leads the Indians in scoring and rebounding.

Greenwave rains on Vikings finale

Fallon spoiled the finale for the best girls basketball season South Tahoe has had under Tim Jaureguito, winning 59-37 Friday in Churchill County.

“I don’t think we played really well,” said Vikings head coach Tim Jaureguito, whose team finished the season 3-9 in Northern Nevada Division II play, 6-19 overall after Friday’s loss. “Again, I hink we played pretty good defense, and I don’t think the score was indicative of the game.”

The Vikings showed improvement in division play this year, winning three games and starting 3-3 after going winless in league in Jaureguito’s previous three seasons. While the team loses versatile wing Missy Johnson, leading rebounder Tirah Samura and the original starting center, Chantelle Young, to graduation this spring, Jaureguito has a strong cadre of sophomores and juniors returning.

“I think we made progress,” he said. “We won three division games, and that’s something we haven’t done in three years, and I think this team did an outstanding job in terms of progress.”

Warriors have more hard luck on hardwood

Whittell’s Northern Nevada 3A Division II basketball skid hit five games on Friday after visiting Hawthorne sank the Warriors, 41-40.

Whittell forced a five-second call on Hawthorne’s inbound play with two seconds left, giving the Warriors one last chance. But Chris Markt’s buzzer-beater for the win hit the back of the rim and bounced out, giving Hawthorne the win and evening the season series between the two teams.

“It shouldn’t have been that close,” said Warriors head coach Steve Maltase.

The Warriors started the division schedule 4-2, but fell to 4-7 heading into Saturday’s home finale against Lovelock. Maltase called Whittell’s defense good enough to win the game, but the Warriors offense cost the team.

Hawthorne’s Paul Trujillo scored the winning basket with 13 seconds left on a running one-hander from the wing. Erick Bales led the Serpents with 23 points, and Trujillo had eight. Avery Norman had a team-high 15 points for Whittell, and Bryan Sigel added 12 more.

Stacked Serpents strangle Warriors

Whittell had the first basket in Friday’s home game against Hawthorne, but the visiting Serpents had the last laugh, cruising to a 70-22 division win.

Hawthorne answered Whittell’s first basket – by senior Nichole Wasson – with a 31-0 run to close out the first quarter. The tall, pressing, fast-breaking Serpents held Whittell to just five field goals in the first half, opening a 44-10 lead by halftime.

Still, Whittell met most of its goals against the best team in the Northern Nevada 3A. Whittell held the Serpents to 70 or fewer points, almost met its own scoring goal of 25 points, had 21 rebounds and committed fewer than 20 field goals against the Serpents press.

“We accomplished pretty close to all of them,” said Warriors head coach Lindsay Wines, whose club fell to 0-11 in Division II, 0-18 overall.

Senior forward Amanda Stinson led Hawthorne with 24 points, and senior forward Ashlee Orndorff chipped in 15 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals and five blocks. The Serpents stayed perfect (11-0) in division play and improved to 25-1 overall. Senior Courtney Benvenuto had a team-high eight points for Whittell, while Wasson finished with six.

Still, the performance of Wines’ short-handed, outsized Warriors again had Wines excited about the future.

“If we can be able to get these girls to play together in the off-season, I’m looking forward to next year,” she said.


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